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The Initiation
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The Initiation (1984)

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Plot Summary:
"Kelly Fairchild has become a college student and a member of the Delta Ro Kai sorority. During all her life, she has suffered from a nightmare where a man is burning. She meets a scientist who can help interpret the dream. The sorority's initiation ritual is a nightly breaking-and-entering on her fathers supermarket."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 02 September 2003 My Rating: out of 5


Sorority pledge Kelly Fairchild has problems. Not only is she plagued by a recurring nightmare in which she stabs her father, but sorority bitch Megan is jealous of Kelly's father's wealth and therefore continuously gets on her back.

Every year the sorority sisters of Delta Ro Kai set a final task for their pledges, if they achieve the task they become members.

This year as a way of causing trouble for Kelly, Megan decides that the task will be for Kelly and her fellow pledges to steal the keys to Kelly's father's mall, sneak in and only leave when they have managed to steal the nightwatchman's uniform.

At first the task seems easy, but with Megan and a group of boys sneaking in to scare Kelly and the girls it's gonna be tough! Especially as a psycho killer is in the building with them.

I first saw this on cable in the early 's and have never forgotten it. After years of searching for it I was finally able to see it again and it was just as great as I remembered.

The first minutes are all about setting up the story whilst giving enough intrigue and thrills to build tension. The remaining minutes however are all out fun and gore, with a bunch of horny teens trapped in a mall in the dark, with a knife wielding, axe swinging, crossbow firing killer.

Director Larry Stewart uses the mall setting to his every advantage. He makes the lights go out, elevator doors open and close on their own, and further unsettles the viewer by focusing on freakish window displays, which we expect will have a killer lurking amongst them.

The mall is an obvious location for teenage girls to shop till they drop.....DEAD and therefore I can't believe it hadn't and hasn't been used more (with the exceptions of 'Dawn of the Dead', 'Chopping Mall' and 'Phantom of the Mall').

This film has stayed with me due to it's creepy, cold atmosphere, a great killer who remains off screen and has a great revelation (I did figure it out, but I probably remembered from years ago) a decent score and an appearance by genre vets Vera Miles and Clu Gulager.

A really good and fun slasher film. Perhaps it scared me so much because I personally work nights in a shopping centre and know just how scary it can be in a dark, empty, echoing back corridor late at night.

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