Six people are trapped within the confines of their old high school during their 10th high school reunion with a psychotic, masked preacher who kills them off for their sinful lives they have made for themselves.
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Six former classmates receive invitations one day to a high school reunion. When they arrive at their alma mater, however, they find that not only are they the only ones to have receved letters, the invitations were actually sent by a deranged preacher intending to murder them all as punishment for their wicked ways. Will any of them escape from the remote schoolhouse alive, or will they all meet their final judgement? Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The location for the high school was the Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia. See more »
At the very end of the film, Christopher walks back into the lake and submerges. Once submerged, the scene cuts to a much more broad picture of the lake in which the credits start to roll. If you look very closely at the right side of the picture, you can see a person walking along a path that is on the right edge of the lake. It is clearly Christopher because he has the same blue shirt and maroon pants on. See more »
This interesting little curiosity from the 70's happens to be one of my absolute favorite slasher films. In fact, only 1974's Black Christmas (which is also my favorite horror film in general) beats it. Released mere months before Carpenter's Halloween would kick-start the genre, it's an extremely eerie picture. There's a sense of the foreboding here that is more prevalent than in most horror films I've seen, let alone slashers. For the uninitiated, it's about a mysterious morality killer who tricks a group of "undesirables" into attending a fake high school reunion, only to pick them off once they get there. If you think this sounds a bit like Slaughter High, you'd be right. This came first, and for my money, it's the better film. It's religious subtext alone makes it far more intriguing.
The six so-called degenerates include a lawyer, a gay actor, a lesbian, a rich snob, a cute girl who takes pride in her appearance, and a cocky former football jock with gluttonous tendencies. Despite negative comments about the acting on this site and in a horror reference guide of mine, the performances in this film are just fine as far as I'm concerned. The six main characters are perfectly believable in their roles, and all of them but the glutton wind up being quite likable. The Redeemer himself comes off as a little over the top at times (the scene in the auditorium for instance), but this actually works in the character's favor, as it really makes him seem like an absolute lunatic.
Indeed, the Redeemer is a very creepy individual. Throughout the film, he dons many different costumes (as Terror Train's killer did a few years later), each one representing an aspect of each victim's life. These costumes can be unsettling, and they really add to the film's effectiveness. Perhaps the creepiest scene in the entire movie is when the lesbian is yelling for a man to let them out of the school, and that man turns out to be the Redeemer dressed up as the Grim Reaper. He proceeds to pound on the bars with his scythe, toying with her, and it always sends a chill up my spine.
This film also has a weird surreal feeling to it that I love. The above mentioned sequence is all the creepier because it comes off as rather dreamy in a way. The film's opening and closing sequences, as well as the moody score, reinforce this feeling tenfold. The film also possesses an unnerving atmosphere, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it one of the most atmospheric slashers in existence. The eerie school, the rural area surrounding it and the surreal feeling all add up to give this film atmosphere out the wazoo.
The Redeemer is a bleak, dread-inducing slasher that never has been regarded all that highly. Personally, I think it's easily one of the best films of it's kind. There really isn't very much gore in this thing, but it more than makes up for that with an interesting premise, a surreal tone, a very creepy killer, likable characters and a unique utilization of religious themes. This one is well worth rediscovering.
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