Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight:The Initiation(1984)

By Eric Polk-
Ok, Ok, Ok Brandon. You have been begging me to see this movie, directed by Larry Stewart, for the past two-three months so I bought it on a double-feature DVD(paired with this film is the wretched Mountaintop Motel Massacre). It was worth the money.

The film features a quality cast including horror icons Clu Gulager(Nightmare on Elm Street 2, Return of the Living Dead), Vera Miles(Psycho) , and, in her second film, Daphne Zuniga(The Dorm That Dripped Blood, The Fly II). Kelly, a young woman who has been plagued by nightmares of a burning man her entire life. Upon entering college, she pledges a sorority that forces them to perform an initiation night prank. With several of her friends, she breaks into a store and unfortunately discovers that it is impossible to exit from the building after it is entered illegally. Trapped in a new nightmare, Kelly must fight for survival when a madman begins killing her pledge sisters one by one.

The Initiation is really two films in one. The first half is the psychological trap Kelly finds herself as she attempts to solve the mystery of the burning man in her dream. The second is the pure slasher portion of the film as the killer(great twist, btw) hacks people one by one. This film is vastly different from the slasher films coming out at the time. There is the rare emotional depth, the big twist, and some decent acting not seen in other genre movies(I'm talking to you He Knows You're Alone, The Forest, and Graduation Day). Very refreshing. Oh sure, it's not a perfect movie. At times, it's slow and there is some corniness, but overall, an above-average movie.


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