Have we already seen everything in slasher films? The basics set in classics like Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980) have been exploited in numerous different backgrounds, but the plots always remain the same: a bad guy, usually wearing a mask, is chasing and murdering in a gruesome sometimes creative way a bunch of teenagers or very sex active youngsters. Are we ever going to get more than this? Well, in Initiation (2020) at least they try.
In the movie, 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.
John Berardo, responsible for the IFS Award for Best Horror Short Film in the Independent Filmmakers Showcase IFS Film Festival for Dembanger (2013), and also co-director of horror and science-fiction The Labyrinth (2017), is responsible for Initiation (2020). He has also been the writer of the screenplay together with the producers Brian Frager and Lindsay LaVanchy, who is also one of the actresses in the film.
Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Lindsay Lavanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffith, Patrick Walker, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler, and Lochlyn Munro star.
Initiation (2020) was part of Screamfest Horror Film Festival, and it was also nominated for Best Motion Picture in the Official Fantàstic Competition section at Sitges Film Festival. The movie is Rated R for strong bloody violence, some crude sexual content, drug use, and language throughout. Saban Films will release it in limited theaters and on digital on May 7, 2021. Here you can watch its official trailer.
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