The 6th Friend, Familiar Slasher Concept With Memorable Moments
The 6th Friend Film Details
Director: Letia Clouston (as Letia Miller)
Sunday, January 13, 2019,
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM PST
Red Carpet 6:30 pm / Film 7:30 pm
The Downtown Independent
251 S Main St, LA
January 11th, 2019
Release Format: Cinemas, VOD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 1 hr 25 min
Social Networking: Facebook
Six college best friends throw their own private graduation party that goes terribly wrong when an uninvited guest arrives. Five years later, the girls gather once again and endure a night of far more horror and bloodshed.
The constant themes in Horror cinema are the diversifying factors encompassing a group of friends at an isolated setting and a killer with mysterious and/or unprovoked intent. While this narrative feels repetitive any new film that restructures or reinvents this approach is most welcome.
The 6th Friend, on the surface, has the vibe of a typical Slasher, Survival Horror film. Presented are standard characters, a standard serial killer and the common backdrop to which the action unfolds. The 6th Friend poster art pays homage to ‘90s and early 2000s slasher films. Yet, the graphic design leans too close to the referenced material. Yet, diving deeper in the plot and The 6th Friend becomes a film encompassing mental illness, egotism, and empowerment.
“Having co-written the screenplay, I’ve lived with the 6th Friend – figuratively speaking – for a long time. I guess you’d say it’s my wonderfully wicked horror baby….”
“….I just know audiences are going to love seeing the six of us try and evade the uninvited guest of the movie together in a theater! Here’s to offering horror fans their first big-screen scream of the new year!”
“The poster tips audiences off to what they can expect – – a fun, frightening mix of everything from Wes Craven’s Scream to the Halloween films embossed in a nice coat of girl power!”
Jamie Bernadette, The 6th Friend, Actress, Co-Writer, Producer
The 6th Friend is a female-driven Horror film from virtually every facet of its production. Letia Clouston takes the director’s seat on this slasher film and also served as Co-writer. Seasoned Horror actress Jamie Bernadette took on many roles (pun intended) on this, her latest release. Bernadette Co-wrote the screenplay, produced and stars in The 6th Friend. Chantelle Albers and Lyle Albers served as Executive Producer, Marlene Hagerott as Associate Producers, and Dawn Manning as Line Producer.
As noted earlier, there are hallmarks viewers expect to find with every new slasher film release. Creative methods of murder and an iconic aesthetic for the villain are crucial standout pieces to differentiate one slasher film from another. The 6th Friend receives praise for tackling these crucial production aspects. For gore, showcased in Letia Clouston’s latest film is a mix of digital effects and practical effects.
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Sometimes, the digital effects in The 6th Friend subtracted realism. One example involves pyrotechnics, it would have been favorable to use a stuntwoman and controlled fire for this scene. Instead, audiences will see death by digital flames. The budget may have had a voice on choosing one approach over another.
In Horror film production it is not about how the violence is interpreted but its impact. The practical effects do shine when presented in close angle shots. A jagged bottle thrust into the neck of a victim looks impressive. Yet, there are few instances of these ghastly showcases. Overall, while not a bloodbath, The 6th Friend has its high points with creative carnage.
The performances had a sense of realism based on a cornucopia of emotional context and casual toned dialogue. To elaborate, the chemistry exhibited between the actresses are what viewers might expect among a group of close-knit friends. Remove the slasher element and The 6th Friend can pass, with ease, as a female-driven drama with traveling pants. Switch the cabin for the great outdoors and we now venture on a 420 Massacre.
For Horror enthusiasts, the concept presented in The 6th Friend is too familiar. Writers Jamie Bernadette and Letia Clouston linger too long on one character’s emotional state. This psychological part of the story felt overemphasized. Concern for this character loses its value after hearing her multiple protests to leave the secluded retreat.
The plot for The 6th Friend seems channeled on two characters with the remaining four feeling obsolete. It would have garnered more interest to delve into each character, develop their arc and explain their reason to lodge at the cabin in the woods. Yet, beneath the surface viewers will find many interesting angles on vanity and deceit.
The 6th Friend offers value for its contribution to the slasher genre and the antagonist has a distinct look of franchise quality. Story-wise, the beat follows the common breakdown right down to the killer’s reveal. Highlights in this film are the performances, practical effects and underlying subject matter.