Directed by Glenn Douglas Packard
Starred: Daniel Wilkinson, Brian Raetz, and Lindsey Nicole
Reviewed by Mark Taylor
From director Glenn Douglas Packard comes Pitchfork, an interesting take on the slasher genre. Hunter Killian is on his way to the family homestead along with his friends, to face his father for the first time after coming out. Once home, a mysterious killer appears, and, well, slasher movie.
However, this is a little different to the standard slasher.
As the movie opens, we’re treated to an opening kill scene which makes you sit up. This film has promise from the beginning. The first five minutes are stark, well-directed, and terrifying. As the opening credits crawl, we are introduced to the cast of *coughs* cannon fodder. The young cast (led by Brian Raetz) are a solid group of actors, and although like most slasher casts are given little to work with as far as character development goes, except the usual traits are likeable when they need to be, and equally reviling when their traits demand it. When they arrive at the Killian household, we meet the rest of the family, and for now, the major cast.
Sadly, the elder family members cannot hold their own to the younger actors, and stand sorely apart. Not that it matters, as they are pretty much the first to go.
As the second act begins however the story plateaus, and slows to a crawl for a while, causing some pacing issues, which is a shame. However, once it finds its feet again, the pace returns and a reasonable slasher continues.
Then the third act. When the killer is revealed the movie changes entirely. It’s jarring, and suddenly strangely different; however, nothing can be taken from the film. The final third is edge-of-the-seat terrifying. But again, it also serves to highlight that the movie has delivery issues, and isn’t necessarily sure what it wants to be. Starting as a slasher, having a musical number, and then becoming a dark claustrophobic nightmare is hard to follow. As a die-hard horror fan I was largely unfazed, but more casual fans might be put off by the changes, particularly as the film is coming to a close.
With that all said, however, I can recommend it. The acting is good. The director has chops. The FX are well done. It has an effective soundtrack, and it’s well edited.
A good popcorn movie for a stormy night.