A group of friends gather together inside of a self-storage facility on the night before Easter Sunday to catch up on old times and to partake in a friendly game of hide and seek. Their evening of fun takes a deadly turn when, one by one, they are targeted by a mysterious psychopath in an Easter Bunny costume. Written by
Darcy's (Gemma Hardy's) hair roots change color off and on throughout the film. See more »
Why do I listen to you?
Because, my friend, when we're charged with saving the world from the forces of evil, you, you are going to be my sidekick, big guy!
You couldn't save a kitten from a tree! Plus, superheroes need money, too.
[to Melissa, off screen]
He's got a point.
Can you imagine Batman pulling that grappling shit with an overdraft?
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The Night Before Easter = Fun With A Capital Bunny!
I've been following the progress of THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER since it was announced from two of the fellows from THE HYSTERIA CONTINUES podcast. Now, they want people to be honest with their critiques and not to mince words or try to suck up because we like them or their podcast. Basically, this film is their window into serious filmmaking and they want to learn from trial and error. I don't have a blog or a website so I'm leaving a review on the Internet Movie Database.
First things first, these guys made this movie for next to no money so do not expect flashy special effects. Actually, if I can jump ahead, I can say the effects they managed on such a tiny budget are very convincing but again, I'm getting ahead of myself.
If you've seen one slasher, you've seen enough to know that story comes second to a mounting pile of dead bodies but what they've done here is give each character moments of gravitas before they are picked off. Most fans of slasher films will argue against this but me personally, I found it endearing and a welcome change of pace.
Story goes: loon escapes from mental hospital, kills two teens (though the guy playing the teen in the opening sequence is easily 30 if not older, but that doesn't matter) and then some odd years later he escapes again and targets more teens at a random location. Here it is a storage facility that one of the teens co-owns with his dad. That's it. They all gather to hang out, drink beer, and chat until the big, bad bunny shows up.
Okay, with story out of the way, let's talk about acting, which is what people usually slight for slashers. Not a single actor here turned in a bad performance. You can tell a few of them were first-timers but for first-timers I thought they were extremely convincing. I especially loved the back and forth betwixt Eric Wyatt as Riley, Keldon Flint as Dante and Michael Eragon as Kyle, who all three play convincing late teens/early twenty-somethings trapped with a slasher. These guys are solid and have bright futures ahead of them should they continue to pursue acting.
The standouts though are an extremely sympathetic lead from April Sinclair and her sidekick, Alyssa Matusiak, playing damaged beyond repair friends and especially (I can't stress especially enough) Bonnie Marilyn Jean as the bitchy character, Melissa. As good as Sinclair and Matusiak are with the drama, Jean devours the script and defecates complete sentences (sorry for such a lurid descriptive): she is THAT good and if this girl doesn't become a household name, what a travesty! Smaller roles from the other cast members are solid too if not quite up to snuff with the aforementioned cast members. Writers/Directors Henson and Johnson also make cameos: Johnson is hilarious as a catty gay man and Henson, known for being the "straight" man on THE HYSTERIA CONTINUES, channels his inner DON'T GO IN THE WOODS in a side-splitting blink and you'll miss it cameo as a woodsy murderer.
Like I said, the budget is next to nothing but I swear you can only tell about 15% of the time and I like those odds. The direction for first timers is super assured and zany, calling to mind Raimi in his early Super 8 days and these guys are sure to go places in the future. I've watched a lot of ultra low budget movies and what these guys have done with no money and no prior knowledge of movie making outside of watching them is beyond incredible. Sometimes it takes years to cultivate talent but these guys already have it and didn't even know it. Keep making movies, you two!
Special props to whoever they had underneath the bunny costume; he just oozes menace and is a threatening presence.
The bad? The first half is not as exciting as the latter half but that's okay; I liked the character building. And I've heard they had some technical issues with a few of the visuals and sound and there are two or three moments where it shows but this is a small gripe as they hid it fairly well. That's it, really. The rest is solid stuff and for what they had to work with, they did better than 80% of crap I've seen post- Scream slashers.
Oh, and the music is some of the best I've ever heard in a slasher film and whoever wrote it should be working in Hollywood.
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