“The eighties called. They want their movie back.”
In the slasher genre of horror, the perpetrators seem almost exclusively male: Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, etc. Women can play an important role, and we’ve covered some of them here before – but it’s much more often as the “final girl”, than the one wielding the machete. However, it’s often forgotten that, in the original Friday the 13th movie, the killer was not Jason, but his mother, so there is some precedent for the female antagonist. See also Nurse 3D, American Horror Story: Coven or perhaps best of all, SexyKiller, whose heroine manages both to be the killer and the final girl.
It was in the hopes of getting something novel along those lines that I went into this, only to be severely disappointed by a product which is very little more than a standard slasher. A group of photogenic, but vacuous and tremendously uninteresting, teens head out to a remote house to par-tay, only to break into the spooky dwelling on the next door property, engage in petty vandalism, drug-taking and other anti-social behaviour, for which they naturally pay a heavy price. About the only difference is, the mad, masked killer dispatching them with extreme prejudice is a woman, a former resident of the boarding school next door, who was tormented into psychosis. It’s an idea not without potential: the look of the maniac-ette is very stylish (even if the mask seems a Halloween knock-off), and the actress portraying her (Henry) does a good job, particularly considering her face is rarely if ever seen, coming over as menacing in just about every one of her scenes.
But beyond that, none of the potential is utilized, In fact, the gender of the killer is entirely irrelevant to proceedings, and the final scene seems more appropriate for a male psycho – it left me wondering if perhaps that was the original plan. Really, for a first-time feature, as this is for the director, I’d have tried to push the envelope much more, instead of apparently being content to tread the same ground as we’ve seen a million times before. Maybe this would have passed muster thirty years ago? Now, not so much, with viewers far more cynically self-aware, and wanting more than an uninteresting rehash of its predecessors. Save the gender of the assailant, there’s nothing new or of note here; it isn’t enough, when it’s little more than an afterthought, and everything else we get, has been done a lot better elsewhere.
Dir: Jeremiah Buckhalt
Star: Danielle Lilley, Brandon Kyle Peters, Christopher de Padua, Gabrielle Ann Henry