Back of Box:
After a young girl is found murdered, a group of teens at Payton High must band together to piece together the horrifying
travesty. The teens soon discover the mysterious killer is killing only the most popular students in school. As their friends
die one-by-one in the most shockingly gruesome ways possible, they realize that being "in" may not get them out…alive.
Every school has an it list…pray you’re not on this one.
Plot: The popular kids
at Payton High School are getting offed by someone who isn't to keen on the competition. That's it, easy and straight
to the bloody point. I can't say that I much liked the resolve of this particular piece, but the self irreverent, wink at
the audience ending reassures me that the filmmakers didn't mean for this to be taken that seriously. I liked it,
they didn't try to make it something it wasn't and it looks like they really had fun with it.
Acting: Once again
Mike Goltz manages to turn in my favorite performance of the short. Goltz's mannerisms as Nick echoed people
I know in real life, it was perfect. Everyone, also again, turns in an above par performance. I think
Courtney Ellen Bay had a few stiff moments, but she definitely has potential. I also want to give a little mention to
Jennifer Frey, her Paige character was annoying, but in an extremely tolerable way...that's near impossible to pull off, kudos.
Gore/Suspense: Body Count
(6) The gore definitely got an upgrade for this short. There's a whole
lot of slashing and stabbing going on here, but the highlights include a knife through the back of the head, out the mouth
and a very well done throat slash/saw. The death scenes even manage to muster some chills this time around.
The opening death scene definitely creeped me out and the stylized brutality of Paige's death scene actually made me squirm...I
Directing/Tech: Steve Goltz
brings it even harder from the director's chair this time around. Goltz's fluid, flowing style is still very much present,
but this time around he expertly utilizes more basic point and shoot methods. The camera still isn't afraid of moving,
but the movements in this one seemed more calculated, subtle and creepy. The short format here is used to
its full potential and for that I must applaud the effort. The lighting was a step up in this short. The night
scenes were still a little dark, but there was more shadow play that actually kind of worked. The sound and the soundtrack
were on point, period.
Other: The only other
thing I have to mention in this review is some continuity issues I have. It's nothing major, but there was a lack of
consistency and because I believe in being honest I can't just let it slide. The girl getting her Achilles tendons slashed
when in the previous shot she was facing her car trying to get into it, the killer talking to someone on the phone while
said killer is murdering two people in a vehicle, and Courteney (Hannah Herdt) coming in from outside to find the killer standing
over a dead body (How did she get outside in the first place). These were the only problems I had, but
for future reference a two second, close up insert of someone turning around or saying their going to check outside, and that they'll
"be right back," goes a long way.
Final Word: Slasher Studios comes correct
with their second short effort. Any doubts I had coming out of their first attempt have been vanquished by this entry
and now it's all a matter of fine tuning. I'm excited to see how they grow with their next installment. Yes sir,
Slasher Studios is definitely one to keep an eye on.