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April Fool's Day
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April Fool's Day (2008)

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Plot Summary:
"When Muffy decides to invite her drama club to her isolated house for a "killer" weekend, nobody would have expected it to be taken so literally. Now the guest list is being trimmed and suspicions turn on each other."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 03 December 2010 My Rating: out of 5


Snooty rich girl Taylor Cole plays a nasty prank on rival Sabrina Aldridge at a debutante ball. The joke goes horribly wrong, though, when its target has an allergic reaction to a “date rape” drug (ho, ho. The hilarity!) she has been given which leads to her death. Everyone complicit in the prank ends up escaping charges, somehow. A year later, they all receive invitations to the victim's grave, where they are warned in an anonymous letter that they will all die if no one comes forward to take responsibility for the murder! Like, OMG and everything! Scout Taylor-Compton plays one of the mean girls, who is an aspiring actress.

I wasn’t a fan of the spoofy 80s original and this 2008 version, not all that similar to the original, isn’t any better, though at least it didn’t go down the jokey cop-out route of the first film. Actually, what this film comes up with might be worse, it’s “Gossip Girl” with a bit of blood thrown in. Nothing against that TV show, it’s probably one of the least objectionable teen shows of recent years, but don’t screenwriters understand basic principles of engaging storytelling anymore? We need characters to care about! This film gives us a bunch of unlikeable bimbos and himbos, and it’s yet another horror film populated by characters I simply couldn’t relate to. These characters probably deserve to die, but I couldn’t muster up enough interest in them to care to even see them perish (unlike say, the underrated “Captivity”). Beauty queens, gossip columnists (gay to boot, ala Perez Hilton I guess), rich jerks and young Republicans- Why are we meant to care about any of these horrible people?

These people suck, they do sucky things, and do it in a sucky manner, with the least objectionable character getting bumped off early. And that pretty much sums up a lot of horror films these days, unfortunately, especially American ones. Who cares about the snooty and affluent in a horror film? No one! And if you really had to do it, just cast The Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and some of the bimbos from “The Hills”. I could get some enjoyment out of seeing some of them getting knifed. Instead we get a bunch of lifeless no-namers and Scout Taylor-Compton, one of the worst actresses of the modern era. By the way, the film is called “April Fool’s Day” and Compton plays an aspiring actress- you do the math. Scout Taylor Incompetent is more like it. Lead actress Cole, meanwhile has a scene where she attempts to cry. I swear the phenomenon of crying seems absolutely foreign to her, because she is completely incapable of rendering a cinematic impression of such an emotional response.

Meanwhile, for a film claiming to come from writer-directors known as The Butcher Brothers (a pseudonym, apparently for Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores- not even brothers!), they sure as hell don’t give us a film that lives up to the promise in their names. The film actually has an off-screen electrocution! Off-screen! Are you kidding me? Is this “Hannah Montana” or something? I’m no gore-hound, but Gen-Y horror really does stink, doesn’t it? When we finally do get a bloody murder, it turns out only to be a movie-within-a-movie. Really pathetic stuff.

It’s even worse than the tepid “Prom Night” remake, I’m afraid. One of the worst horror films of the last five years, in fact. And that’s no joke.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 17 April 2008 My Rating: out of 5

I must admit that I was dreading this remake of the 1986 film of the same name after watching some terrible clips and reading awful reviews for it, but to my surprise, whilst it wasn’t exactly brilliant, it wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting.

The film opens as rich bitch and prankster extraordinaire Desiree Cartier welcomes guests to a debutante ball she is throwing on behalf of her aspiring actress friend Torrance. Unknown to the rest of their social circle, Desiree and her brother Blaine are secretly planning to publicly ruin one of the guests, fellow socialite (not to mention main rival to Desiree) Milan Hastings by creating a sex scandal. Everything seems to be going to plan until Milan has a fit and falls off a balcony to her death. One year later, the friends receive invitations to a get together at Milan’s grave where it is revealed that unless the person who caused her death comes forward, each of the friends shall die.

April Fool’s Day is what one could only imagine a Halloween episode of Gossip Girl might look like. Glossy, chock full of fake scares and headed by a bunch of hot totty, it’s really trashy, classless, in poor taste, over the top, glam and glitzy but to my surprise, it was the first so bad it’s good film I’ve seen in ages. It deviates a lot from the original (so at least they set out to do something new) and is never scary (although I was surprised to see that there was quite a bit of blood) but is fun nonetheless.

I think most people probably hated this because the original was pretty creepy and had some neat FX work, where as this is laughable and full of dodgy make-up and blood splatter (which actually works in context when you think about it). This aside, it is worth noting that this film acts as a stark contrast to the directing duo’s previous effort, patchy video cam flick The Hamiltons, as technically, the film looks great and it’s high production values are a major strong point.

April Fool’s Day is just a silly bit of harmless fun and those who can appreciate that 15 year olds need horror movies too should enjoy it. If you liked films such as Gossip, The In Crowd and Cruel Intentions then this will most likely be for you. If you’re a hardcore horror fan who loves gore, terror and violence, you’ll most likely hate it. It’s less scary than the horror episodes of Dawson’s Creek but it is my opinion that po-faced critics have unfairly pissed all over this.

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