Thursday, May 6, 2021

Initiation Review: A Bloody Good Party Slasher

Froy Gutierrez	...	Wes Scott Lochlyn Munro	Lochlyn Munro	...	Bruce Van Horn Yancy Butler	Yancy Butler	...	Detective Sandra Fitzgerald Jon Huertas	Jon Huertas	...	Officer Rico Martinez Gattlin Griffith	Gattlin Griffith	...	Beau Vaughn Isabella Gomez	Isabella Gomez	...	Kylie Bart Johnson	Bart Johnson	...	Coach Miles Cooper Patrick R. Walker	Patrick R. Walker	...	Malik Nick Ballard	Nick Ballard	...	Tad Rivers Amber Pauline Magdesyan	Amber Pauline Magdesyan	...	Sorority Sister Kent Faulcon	Kent Faulcon	...	Chief Adam Tahan Mel Fair	Mel Fair	...	Brett Vaughn Shalini Bathina	Shalini Bathina	...	Meera Madan Jeff Willy	Jeff Willy	...	Investigator Lindsay LaVanchy	Lindsay LaVanchy	...	Ellery Scott

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 97 minutes
Directed By: John Berardo
Written By: John Berardo, Brian Frager, and Lindsay LaVanchy
Starring: Lindsay LaVanchy, Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Isabella Gomez (“Head of the Class,” “One Day at a Time”), Froy Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”), Gattlin Griffith (Green Lantern), Patrick Walker (“The Resident”), Bart Johnson (“High School Musical 3: Senior Year”), Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon (Selma) with Yancy Butler (Kick-Ass 2) and Lochlyn Munro (“Riverdale”)

During a university’s pledge week, the carefree partying turns deadly serious when a star athlete is found impaled in his dorm. The murder ignites a spree of sinister social-media messages, sweeping the students and police into a race against time to uncover the truth behind the school’s dark secrets…and the horrifying meaning of a recurring symbol: a single exclamation mark.

David M Sandoval Jr.	...	Hillsboro Police Officer Barham Debra De Liso	Debra De Liso	...	Dana Thompson Adam Pepper	Adam Pepper	...	Security Officer Mark Taormino	Mark Taormino	...	Cameraman Maxwell Hamilton	Maxwell Hamilton	...	Tyler Betsy Hume	Betsy Hume	...	Jean Reeves Miles Quincy Martin	Miles Quincy Martin	...	Whiton Security Guard Adin Kolansky	Adin Kolansky	...	Alvin Brian Berglund	Brian Berglund	...	Police Officer Reilly Baker	Reilly Baker	...	Hot Girl James Berardo	James Berardo	...	Dylan Hassan A	Hassan A	...	Investigator Saki Ohwada	Saki Ohwada	...	Student Byron Luke	Byron Luke	...	Whiton Security Guard Anthony Tai	Anthony Tai	...	Police Officer Rome Romanne	Rome Romanne	...	Reporter Corey Crandall	Corey Crandall	...	Officer Lee Carlos Enrique Castro	Carlos Enrique Castro	...	College Administrator
Initiation takes the college environment and cranks it up to eleven with a crazy party that leads a strange and disturbing situation.  The party and fraternity scenes are well done, with good lighting, over the top bro characters, and plenty of college craziness.  And once the murders start to happen, you get a different kind of craziness.  It wouldn't be a good slasher film without some deaths, and Initiation has some brutal ones.  You can tell that the killer enjoys this aspect as the kills take some time and are turned into brutal messages.  The film uses good practical effects for these deaths, which makes them all the more brutal.  Some of the blood looks fake but overall this slasher does a great job with the essential part of a slasher film.

Initiation tries to tell a story influenced by social media, and the movie does a good job with this aspect.  It has an interesting use of social media throughout, with events happening on people's phones projected on the film so you know what is going on.  It is a nice touch that lets you see what social media is talking about whiteout having the film cut away from the action.  It has been done before in films but it is still a good use of the screen.  The story has a good arc but overall I felt like it didn't develop enough.  The movie had a really long build up before the first kill, which was a nice touch as it let you get to know these characters and their situation.  But once the murders happened the movie seemed to have a bloodbath of deaths, only to then conclude.  It feels like this film could have had a few more story elements and maybe a reprieve form the murders, and it makes this story seem to be over shortly after it gets exciting.  But Initiation does a lot right; it's a good indie horror film with strong female characters and important social media messages.  

Initiation's college slasher party is amplified with great practical effects, brutal deaths, a good amount of tension, and a social media message.

Watch it.

Tony Porath	...	Student (as Anthony Porath) Shireen Lai	Shireen Lai	...	Shayleen Zhou Brian Frager	Brian Frager	...	Officer Rummel Trina Borelli	Trina Borelli	...	Sorority Sister Ed Stasik	Ed Stasik	...	College Administrator (as Edward Stasik) Stephanie Stanziano	Stephanie Stanziano	...	Student J.P. Castel	J.P. Castel	...	Swimmer Patrick Huggins	Patrick Huggins	...	Fraternity Brother Dean Rowe	Dean Rowe	...	Fraternity Guy Olga Balaban	Olga Balaban	...	Sorority Sister Loulu Nevy	Loulu Nevy	...	Sorority Sister (as Louisa Nevy) Jake Boldt	Jake Boldt	...	Campus Security Natalie Rhodes	Natalie Rhodes	...	Sorority Sister Jamie Connors	Jamie Connors	...	Student Cody Duke	Cody Duke	...	Frat Bro Avery Shiver	Avery Shiver	...	Sorority Sister Grace Youn	Grace Youn	...	Student Zachary Zeoli	Zachary Zeoli	...	Fraternity Brother Henry Vega	Henry Vega	...	Whiton University Campus Police Olivia Doskey-Mulvaney	Olivia Doskey-Mulvaney	...	Sorority Sister Adam Valencia	Adam Valencia	...	Swimmer William Echeverri	William Echeverri	...	Security Officer Tiarra Dowell	Tiarra Dowell	...	Sorority Sister Byron Praeter	Byron Praeter	...	Police Officer Kristin Screnci	Kristin Screnci	...	Sorority Sister Gary L. Wilson	Gary L. Wilson	...	Hillsboro Police officer Justin Dubee	Justin Dubee	...	Campus Security John Michael Murphey	John Michael Murphey	...	College Administrator Nikki Patendis	Nikki Patendis	...	Sorority Girl Miguel Moisés	Miguel Moisés	...	Fraternity Brother Mark Rodgers	Mark Rodgers	...	Cameraman Carlos Castro	Carlos Castro	...	College Administrator Mitzi Vazquez	Mitzi Vazquez	...	Student James Braginton	James Braginton	...	College Administrator Gary Wilson	Gary Wilson	...	Police Officer Brody Dylan	Brody Dylan	...	Fraternity Brother (as Dylan Brody) Ryan Alverez-Cohen	Ryan Alverez-Cohen	...	Fraternity Brother Clayton Brown	Clayton Brown	...	Fraternity Brother Mike Sumilang	Mike Sumilang	...	Student Juliana	Juliana	...	Whiton Security Guard (credit only) Eric Lau	Eric Lau	...	Fraternity Brother Jennifer Song	Jennifer Song	...	Sorority Sister Sabira Evans	Sabira Evans	...	Campus Security Max Israel	Max Israel	...	TA Max Good	Max Good	...	Student Rafael Reyes	Rafael Reyes	...	Student Jeffrey Tipton	Jeffrey Tipton	...	Science Administrator Jasmine Shafa	Jasmine Shafa	...	Sorority Sister Katie James	Katie James	...	Sorority Sister Sabra Maddock-Jardine	Sabra Maddock-Jardine	...	College Administrator Greg Ayzenberg	Greg Ayzenberg	...	Student Alexis Galdamez	Alexis Galdamez	...	Fraternity Brother Jeanne Testarossa	Jeanne Testarossa	...	Sorority Sister Christian Eidson	Christian Eidson	...	Fraternity Brother Stephen Peevy	Stephen Peevy	...	Fraternity Brother Danny Giacomini	Danny Giacomini		 Maia Kropp	Maia Kropp	...	Sorority Sister Malley Doherty	Malley Doherty	...	Sorority Sister Samira Morin	Samira Morin	...	Sorority Sister Tralicia Montgomery	Tralicia Montgomery	...	College Administrator Lillian Hoffman	Lillian Hoffman	...	Reporter Alondra Orn	Alondra Orn	...	Sorority Sister Taylor Nossaman	Taylor Nossaman	...	Sorority Sister Alex Villalobos	Alex Villalobos	...	Fraternity Brother Ariana Saigh	Ariana Saigh	...	Sorority Sister Brian Maldonado	Brian Maldonado	...	Student Luke Blonigan	Luke Blonigan	...	Student Kailyn Dillon	Kailyn Dillon	...	Student Lewis Sanchez	Lewis Sanchez	...	Campus Security Bronte Brilliantes	Bronte Brilliantes	...	Sorority Sister Eric Lau	Eric Lau	...	Pledge (credit only) Rafael Ewert	Rafael Ewert	...	Student Alexis Galdamez	Alexis Galdamez	...	Fraternity Brother (as Alex Diversity) Maitlin Combs	Maitlin Combs	...	Sorority Sister Tommy Torres	Tommy Torres	...	Cameraman Juliana Fierro	Juliana Fierro	...	Campus Security Mike Murphey	Mike Murphey	...	College Administrator Lester Cheung	Lester Cheung	...	Fraternity Brother Luma Haidous	Luma Haidous	...	Student
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Initiation is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on May 7, 2021. For showtimes, click here.

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