Danishka Esterhazy (director)
13 December 2021 (released)
12 December 2021
The original The Slumberparty Massacre was one of a plethora that came out in the wake of Halloween, Friday the 13th et al, and has gained itself a minor place in the slasher pantheon. It’s not particularly notorious even though the killer sports a drill, thus associating with the infamous Driller Killer made a few years earlier which and been tossed in with later slashers.
It did though have a female director Amy Holden Jones and was written by Rita Mae Brown giving the film a perspective that was unusual for the time if the main thrust of the tale itself wasn’t going to win a prize.
What director and writer Danishka Esterhazy and Suzanne Keilly respectively have done apart from remove The definitive article and split Slumber from Party is bringing it up to date further widening the female perspective with some meta and satirical flourishes, without losing touch with its exploitation roots.
So we begin in 1993 with the killing of a number of young men and women in a camp hut with one survivor Trish (Masali Baduza) and the killer Russ Thorn (Rob Van Vuuren) seemingly drowned.
To the presents day Trish (Schelaine Bennett) now has a daughter Dana (Hannah Gonera) who with her friends Maeve (Frances Sholto-Douglas), Breanie (Alex McGregor), Ashley (Reze-Tiana Wessels and Maeve’s stowaway younger sister Alix (Mila Rayne) are getting to out on the road for their own slumber party which Trish is a bit concerned about.
The film then follows the genres rules and they end up in creaky old cabin on a lake. As chance would have it there’s another party across the lake. A bunch of Adonis bodied podcasters are there for the weekend too although their interest is in the aforementioned murders and that the body of Russ was never found. However they aren’t above having a few beers and a pillow fight in their undies. So they aren’t that well prepared when the inevitable happens and its left by and large to the young women to sort out.
But it’s not quite as straightforward as that as Esterhazy and Keilly have added a few elements of their own that will please hardcore fans of the original but not alienate anyone. The kills are suitably bloody if exposing the low budget. While the cast are up for it and this has a surprisingly good laugh count. And nipping along at a good pace there’s no time to get bored and excellent for a late night closer.
Not that this should be relegated to throwaway after the pub viewing. It does have that about it but there’s other things within that warrant a sober second watch.
Slumber Party Massacre will be available on digital platforms from 13 December 2021.