After watching the trailer I was surprised to learn that this release would be straight to DVD. The story of Max (Taissa Farmiga) who is persuaded to go to the screening of a slasher film starring her mom (Malin Akerman) on the anniversary of her death, only for the theatre to be accidentally set alight with their only escape through the screen, until they wake up within the film. This is a total riff on classic and modern horror flicks and their completely over the top and over sexed nature.
With a decent cast it makes this even more surprising to not get a debut on the big screen but it is a small, more independent film so it does make sense. Headed by Farmiga who you may recognise from her two seasons on American Horror Story or The Bling Ring, she’s appeared several times but is yet to hit her big break. It’s quite clear that acting runs in the family genes with older sister Vera being one of the finest actresses of her generation but can Taissa live up to that? She can act that’s definitely true but a lot of her past parts have felt as though they are quite similar and nothing that’s really tested her skills. Nevertheless all the cast do a decent job, particularly Akerman who is no stranger to the spoof genre. Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley) are on top form for comedy. Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect, Workaholics) proves yet again he is more than proficient at playing a douche, and Alexander Ludwig (Hunger Games, Lone Ranger) shows he can do comedy even if his acting is a little over the top at times, but for the type of film it can easily be forgiven. With Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev rounding out the group as the token mean girl, there’s really not anything to complain about with this cast.
Being a fan of films that take the horror genre and turn it on its head, this film is great. I can’t say it went above and beyond any other but it is funny and different with a little bit of everything; sex/violence/comedy/drama/family/friendship, it’s a spoof with more to it. The relationship between Akerman and Farmiga as mother and daughter works very well and adds another angle to the film making it more than just taking the piss out of some old films. At the same time paying respects to the classics, with Alia Shawkat being stood in front of a window with the murderer right behind her, which any fan will recognise from films like Friday the 13th and Halloween, as well as the constant rising of hope only to be ruined by another death.
I’m genuinely sad that this one didn’t get a big screen release, so it won’t get the attention that it really deserves, the same way others have gone under the radar. This is a fun watch and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of Tucker & Dale vs Evil or Cabin In The Woods.