2 user 5 critic

Initiation (2016)

TV-MA | | Thriller | 2016 (USA)
Five strangers are taken hostage and forced to fight to the death as a form of initiation into a bizarre, violent brotherhood.


Oren Benamor

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Ryan Rennie ... Simon (as Adam Rennie)
Dan Horton Dan Horton ... Marok
David Terrell ... Staff Sergeant Raynor
John Winscher ... Dale
Hunter Smit ... Denny
Denell Johnson ... Wayne
Jonathan Cahill Jonathan Cahill ... Plebe Red
Eric Mindel Eric Mindel ... Eric
Evan Schwartz Evan Schwartz ... Evans
Robert Santi ... Rob (as Robert Santiago)
Mike Kopera ... Plebe Green
Michael Woolston Michael Woolston ... Plebe Orange
Eric Larsen ... Plebe Gold
Nich Kauffman Nich Kauffman ... Sean
Pitrone Sands Pitrone Sands ... Plebe Silver (as Justin Sands)


Five strangers are taken hostage and forced to fight to the death as a form of initiation into a bizarre, violent brotherhood.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-MA | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2016 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?


Into the Emptiness
Written by Steve Kopera and Steve Sholtes
Performed by Jack Prime
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User Reviews

Pleasantly surprised!
2 March 2019 | by cnardeSee all my reviews

5 men are kidnapped and forced to fight to death, the movie delivers exactly what it promises. The cast was anywhere from competent to excellent, with Dan Horton being the standout. The directing, set design and cinematography all were well done and the sets were simple. Nothing elaborate or memorable but they felt perfect for the scene. Now the fights themselves were pretty well done. Quick and brutal, none of this over the top Hollywood nonsense of people beating the hell out of each other for 10 minutes. Which may be entertaining, but anyone who's ever been in or seen a real fight will tell you that's BS, most fights are over in less than a minute. Every blow takes it's toll and you feel it with the actor, the fights come off as authentic and very believable and at times sickening in the way the director has perfectly captured the honesty of two men fighting for their lives. The sound fx also shine through and add life and realism to The fights. Bones break, teeth fall out, and skulls hitting concrete are all delivered with a sobering impact that feels believable and gives weight to whays happening. I would have liked to have seen a better resolution to the main characters backstory, but overall it was an entertaining movie. I went in with high hopes but low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Aside from the aforementioned, virtually no time is spent or wasted developing the world or origin tales. Literally 60 seconds in the it takes off running and doesn't slow down much at all. Which can be disastrous, who wants to watch a bunch of people they have no investment in fight for their lives? Yet here is one of the times it worked. I dont even remember the main characters name or if we even got it, but I felt for him and everyone else. For what little screen time most of the actors had, they managed to milk as much as they could and gave me characters I cared about and connected with on some level through believable performances. Nobody tried to ham it up or make the scene more than what it was and the lines all felt genuine. I don't know that if go so far as to say this movie truly excelled in any one area or there was a particularly memorable scene, nor does it really do anything fresh or new. But I also can't find any true faults. Everything it did, it did well enough that It's definitely worth watching if you're a fan of this genre. I mean really, what all can one expect from a movie about death fights? It is what it is, dont try to make it any more than two people beating the hell out of each other. We don't need complex or irrelevant side plots, don't need to see numerous flashbacks, just follow the damn train CJ. We're given just enough to know what's going on and to be invested in the characters, and for me really this movie is a great example that sometimes less is more.

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