I’ve had the pleasure of viewing and reviewing two of Jamie Bernadette’s films All Girls Weekend (2016) and 4/20 Massacre (2018), and thereby finding like many horror fans, that she truly has a treasure trove of horror films among other credits to her name. This time she steps into the screenwriting position as well as acting in this latest project which Letia Clouston served as director in this slasher movie, as well as assisting in the script. The film is the average required length of a horror flick, slightly borrowing from Scream (1996) but in a sense of a few clichés, that’s a norm when dealing the subject material surrounding a slasher movie. When one hears the distributor The Asylum Studios a slight eye roll, but this time they deliver a quality movie, with powerful developed characters.
Now, I normally get really in depth with some reviews, however, I’ll need to avoid doing that, the problem with slasher movies, often very straight-forward and cause spoiler revelations easily. It all started long ago, when a small group of women friends get together for a night of fun, trying mind-altering drugs, with one designated sober friend a man, Tyler (David Villada) takes advantage of the women in a bedroom, and from there incident goes way off the track. They witness the rape, and in the process of defending her, they inadvertently kill the man. Five years later, the group comes together again trying to finally put the past to rest during a weekend retreat at a cabin in the woods (yeah cliché) because one of their own, Joey (Bernadette) still hasn’t recovered from the rape and killing of the assailant. She still finds herself traumatized but the incident, going through bouts of not eating or sleeping, seeing ghosts, where is Dr. Phil when one needs him? Her friends are here for support and laughs, includes aspiring actress Mel (Chantelle Albers), Heather (Dominique Swain (Minutes to Midnight ), Katie (Jessica Morris (Living Among Us ), ‘free-bird’ Becca (Monique Rosario), and Sahara (Tania Nolan). As customary with a party at an isolated cabin, the chatter occurs, and this one direct aside from an interesting segue, the women gabbing about everything, from sex talk to uncensored porn tapes, into stats about women little input into daily lives, the hypocrisy of how women build themselves up and tear down others. Overall, the vibe fairly fun, moments of drinking wine and sangria, plenty of innuendos. However, in a horror film nothing stays on the fun-0side for too long. Tyler either returned from the grave, or another mad-person stalking and terrorizing this gang of friends, and through a series of arguments, distrust and a blame game starts, these ladies begin tearing into each other, slicing-n-dicing ready to torch relationships and hang others, all while one launches the own person delusion demons.
A few problems do exist in the script, not huge plot holes, just minor speed bumps, some tweaks definitely needed, however the characters all contain wonderful depth which is refreshing to have in slasher movie. Often in the slasher subgenre the female roles appear at times airheaded, but this movie builds on the strengths of The Final Girls (2015) and Tragedy Girls (2017), both Bernadette and Albers battle for the most convincing roles the characters run the gambit of emotions and showing great strengths that translate on the screen.
Bernadette delivers both a solid entry into the slasher genre and showing a skill set for penning horror, with bold characters, the dialogue works well and keeps the viewers entertained. Many critics champion the ‘Girl Power’ and gasp ‘ohs’ for the achievement of women behind the scenes, however, they equally have shown the capabilities for years, it’s just the mainstream that overlooks their stylization. The storyline achieves all it can with the regard to the horror and connection to trauma, past physical but the mental anguish and psychological torture of rape, aiding in delivering suspension in many scenes.
Tagline: how far would you go for your best friend?
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10