420 Massacre, High-lights Practical Effects, Superb Acting
420 Massacre Film Details
Director: Dylan Reynolds
Writer: Dylan Reynolds
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018
Release Format: VOD/DVD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Action, Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 24 minutes
Social Networking: Facebook, Twitter
A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.
I was skeptical at first when another marijuana-themed Horror film hit our inbox. Usually, these productions involve bad acting, terrible comedy routines, and poor dialogue. Filmmakers argue that establishing such a production was purely for fun factor. While this may be the case I believe demands should be in place to provide a distinguished form of Horror entertainment.
One notorious component in marijuana-themed Horror film is the stereotyped depiction of a stoner. With the latter, I find these portraits to be objectionable but personalities such as Snoop Dog continue to depict the symbolic stoner picture for media consumption. The flip-side here is the entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors Snoop Dog also delivers. Not all marijuana users are lazy stoners.
Slashers is a decorated crowd favorite in Horror cinema. The formula continues undisturbed for over twenty years. Although the cast varies, the lambs to the slaughter comprise of a gathering of persons venturing to a secluded locale. The killer always focuses on a discontented local with severe anti-social issues.
Director, Writer Dylan Reynolds combines a cannabis-themed plot, a slasher concept with flecks of humor in his upcoming film, 420 Massacre. Is this another run of the mill production or will audiences encounter a film with substantial context?
Related Article: Jaime Bernadette Talks 420 Massacre
The flow of the narrative became a shining highlight. At a glance, audiences will notice the female-driven leads. These individuals are protagonists to a story rather than single-serving offerings. Their backstories are offered with a steady drip-fed course thus maintaining an interesting narrative. In 420 Massacre the characters remain part of the story much to the end of the narrative.
In contrast, presented in ACT I for most slasher films are personalities and depending on the narrative complexity, their inner strife. The first thirty minutes serves as the development stage for these personalities to flourish however the roles dwindle in significance by ACT II and ACT III. With this in mind, audiences will notice the superior character-structure presented with 420 Massacre. Reynolds presented down-to-earth personas with each resonating with the viewer. Relationship issues, ambitions, and comedic natures did not appear preeminent or impoverished. There are topics grounded in today’s social-eco system. Good acting and chemistry attribute to the reality factor and conveyance thereof.
With 420 Massacre the female-driven characters were most welcome. Yet, the absent diversification in this all-Caucasian cast becomes a downfall. There was a marvelous interaction exhibited by the 420 Massacre cast, I felt drawn to the performances, each actor/actress invested passion in the role they each portrayed. For an indie slasher film, this is a scarce achievement to find.
Another high point for Reynolds’ film came in form of practical effects. The raw and absurd visuals with each kill scene become a new form of grim entertainment. With that said do not expect the type of gore affixed with traditional slasher films. In 420 Massacre audiences will get creative creations of comedic carnage.
Does Reynolds’ invest originality into 420 Massacre setting it apart from the already crowded landscape? I believe so. I did not find tired cliches in this narrative. Sure the production displays the standard slasher film formula but it does not adhere to familiar tropes. With ingenuity and skill, Reynolds recalculated a staple in Horror cinema and established a unique production. Tossing in the marijuana narrative draws the film to high standards, pun intended.
With the cinematography, I appreciated the close-ups Reynolds invested in each kill scene. This was a clever means to establish an in-your-face display to the gore factor. It further highlights the craftmanship issued to the prosthetics and practical effects. Presenting a Horror theme against a daylit environment has considerable obstacles. The fear factor has to have greater emphasis without the camouflage of silhouettes.
In 420 Massacre Reynolds provides good set-ups and angles to draw in the viewer. This production may not propose a magnified sense of dismay as most slashers do but the suspense is unmistakable as the kill sequence unfolds.
420 Massacre quelled all of my initial doubts, thank goodness. The acting was a top-notch exhibit with each performer taking the limelight for their engagement. Horror connoisseurs will appreciate the gore factor and its experienced application. The film with its marijuana-invested narrative proceeds with entertaining prose. I found the unorthodox choice in atmospheric lighting enhanced the action placements and not so much the fear factor. My only negative, the absent diversity in the cast. 420 Massacre pairs well with a preferred weed of choice, spark up your blunt, bong or joint and enjoy this Horror experience.