October 31, 2010
Michael T. Flynn
Michael T. Flynn
Holly Bell as Sheila Trousdale
Savanah McEwen as Samantha Wright
Robert Carroll as Colman
Breana Edwards as Zoey
Michael T. Flynn as Mike Dahl
Olivia Vincent as Jess Trousdale/ Lisa Summers
Slaughter Party is a 16 year Old Filmmaker’s Slasher Vision with an amazing amount of work and creativity, and as a first effort it’s on the right track.
Samantha Wright (Savanah McEwen) has things rough – three years ago her mother was brutally murdered in her own kitchen by Mr. Colman, one of Samantha’s middle school teachers. Since then her father got laid off work and life is generally difficult. It’s time for a party!
Samantha’s father owns a cabin on a private island, and she has open permission to have a party there whenever she wants, and now is the time. She gathers her friends, including ditzy Zoey (Breana Edwards) and the Trousdale sisters Sheila and Jess (Holly Bell and Olivia Vincent) and they head out for an unsupervised weekend alone on the island. Unfortunately for them all, Mr. Colman is not finished with the Wright family, and the partiers are going to pay.
Slaughter Party is, essentially, a homemade short film (42 minutes) created from the ground up by 16 year old Michael T. Flynn. After meeting Michael at a horror convention in Nashville TN we at Best-Horror-Movies.com were intrigued by his mature and professional demeanor as well as the dozen or so youngsters sporting “Slaughter Party” T-shirts and buttons promoting the heck out of the film to con attendees. This one needed watching.
After a flashback where we see Samantha’s mother slashed and hacked in her kitchen, very well done slash job in fact, the viewer is treated to what may or may not be an advertisement for a Halloween haunt, presumably produced at the home of the young Mr. Flynn. Or, this may have been a preamble news segment to introduce us to the characters in Slaughter Party, or it may have been the trailer for the film burned into the beginning of the disc… not exactly sure, but it did look like an elaborate and creative home haunt, and we do meet a few of the characters, most notably the young and dorky Jess Trousdale (Olivia Vincent).
Once the haunt-news segment concludes Flynn spends time making sure that we in the audience know something of the characters. It is encouraging to see that this young filmmaker sees the importance of character development right out of the gate, which gives me renewed hope for the future of horror. The formula characters are all present and accounted for; the innocent with a troubled past, a ditsy and flirty best friend, the dorky sidekick who people mock and the ever-important comedic foil… very well done in standard 80s slasher style. The performers are not professional actors but rather local kids with Slaughter Party as their first ever acting credit. As disastrous as that had the potential to be, it all works just fine, especially in the case of Ms. Vincent as the ‘so dorky it hurts’ Jess Trousdale. Her lines are ridiculous and her actions absurd, but this young performer let’s go of inhibitions completely and really brings her character to life. I found myself anxiously awaiting her next goofy line.
It may not be fair to comment on cinematography considering this film was obviously made with home equipment and edited on a laptop, yet as obvious as those things are in the finished product, I have reviewed dozens of films produced by so-called “professionals” that paled in comparison in terms of quality. Has anyone seen Skin Eating Jungle Vampires? Slaughter Party is WAY better than that.
Slaughter Party is an outstanding first pass at filmmaking from a promising young artist. Michael T. Flynn knows how to tell a story, develop characters, create dialogue that sounds natural and translate that onto film that is coherently edited and organized – not to mention put all the necessary pieces of a film project together and get it in front of people. No small feat for any filmmaker. With a bit of experience, training and budget this kid is going to go places.