Sometimes one comes across a horror flick, that for an odd reason attracts them to watch it over and over, and that seems lately to be Hack!, a teen slasher movie, never taking itself serious, but yet appears a lamer version of the Scream franchise, it fills every moment of the screen with film references, homages, clichés, and dives headfirst lifting dialogue or quotes and lots more all thanks to writer and director Matt Flynn. He pours in his love affair with genre for 90-minutes, in fact his obsession, splatters everywhere during the production, but even creative is who appears in the movie even just for a cameo. The DVD artwork gives away all illusions and dissolves any mystery for the film, yet one cannot truly mind, it seems fine for this horror comedy, since initial release which achieve distribution from Phase 4 Films, it keeps expanding to other countries Greece, Germany and most recently Italy.

Hack! starts with seven college students and their teacher Mr. Argento (executive producer Mike Wittlin) that signed up for a biology project, they board a boat called the Orca, helmed by Captain Bates (Burt Young (The Amityville Murders [2018])), sail to a small isolated island owned by husband and wife Vincent (Sean Kanan) and Mary Shelley King (Juliet Landau (Fairfield [2014])) to study the tidepools or something like that, they never do though. However on the trip over, the teens never discuss bio, rather chat about movies and film class, oops a switch in subjects, no one really caring over the lack of education. It allows the audience to become familiar with the group first a shy Emily (Danica McKellar, its Winnie from The Wonder Years), then Johnny (Jay Kenneth Johnson), jock Tim (Travis Schuldt), Ricky (Justin Chon), “Q” (Wongdy Bruny), Sylvia (Gabrielle Richens), and Maddy (Adrienne Frantz). We all know this is too many people in a horror movie, hence equals a big body count, which include the first victim portrayed by Kane Hodder (Hatchet [2006])). The Kings, both are film makers working on their masterpiece movie and hope the students willing or not will aid them in the production. Soon after their arrival Mary shoves her old 8mm movie camera into everyone’s face. During the first groups’ dinner table many reference film occurs, among them Frankenstein (1931), The Birds (1963), and many others. At times, the story follows a Friday the 13th slasher-a-thon mash-up, which strangely a clown is roaming the wooded area and a series of other bizarre moments, but gives a carnage free-for-all. There’s one truly comedic scene that homages Indiana Jones where one individual does a series karate moves and then he’s just shot, this is just one of many scenes Flynn does whether it’s a rip-off is in the eye of beholder.

It’s very obvious early on that the plot for Hack! is ultra-thin, and highly confusing for the direction and overall payoff but face it, most that the film caters to is lust of a slasher paradise of brutal killing with decapitations, severed limbs, individuals hung from hooks as if a Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) film, but one expects this from the title of the movie. Needless the killing never builds any suspense, tensions or shock, just random slaughter by means of mallet, chainsaw, axe and whatever else is located in a tool shed, but the comedic moments also lack. Clearly anyone with a smattering of knowledge of horror films knows of the character reference including Sheriff Stoker (Tony Burton (The Shining [1980])) for Bram Stoker, yes that is one hears in the flick.  As for the production, no flaws, the actors hit the appropriate marks, and easily the nighttime scenes look very good, for such a low budget film.

If you seek a massacre meets slaughter fest then Hack! is for your devious intentions it does well  to understand itself in the parody of a Scream filled world, it never fails to splatter more and more of everything on top of each other. The film has led to a drinking game of one to note all the horror movie references, please play responsibility and with a lock on a tool shed.


  • Reality Kills.

IMDb Rating: 4.1/10

Baron’s Rating: 4.0/10