Wednesday, December 2

April Fool’s Day (2008)

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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.

OVERALL SUMMARY
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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April Fool’s Day (1986)

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This film from Director Fred Walton had really pulled the wool over my
eyes when I had seen it years ago on TV, so I was anxious to check it out
again and it was just as great as I had remembered.

Muffy St. John invites her friends to her holiday home on a remote island
for Spring break. The friends set off intending to have the time of their
lives, which is just as well because it may be the last time they get to
party.

This film like ‘Terror Train’ was obviously made to cash in on the success
of other horror films (it even has the same producer and studio as the
‘Friday the th’ series) but where this film differs from that rip-off is
that whilst it was easy money, the team behind this put effort into making
it a good movie.

The cast including Amy Steel from ‘Friday the th Part ‘ are all very
likeable, albeit rather stereotypical in the way they represent the ‘s.
Hey it was the ‘s and no one cared about characters being stereotypes.

Director Fred Walton (of which I am a huge fan) once again manages to tell
a great story whilst showcasing some creepy moments and wonderfully eerie
set pieces (the highlight being a scene where one young girl decides to
climb into a well to retrieve the bucket after the rope snaps).

The death scenes are mostly hinted at, as I suspect that scissor happy
Paramount went about butchering the negatives so as not to offend any
families. (Isn’t that nice of them!!) The deaths are however more than
compensated for in creepy P.O.V shots and little red herrings.

The film also manages to be hysterically funny thanks to the comedic
talents of the cast, and never fails to entertain between the carnage.

It really annoys me that people cash in on successful movies with cheap
imitations and yet a film such as this, which is of a high standard for
the ‘s and shows origionality is dismissed as rubbish. We all know
what to expect from a horror film released in the height of the slasher
craze and that’s why we want to see it!!

OVERALL SUMMARY
If you like good old fashioned dead teen slasher films, humour and a good
story full of red herrings and great set pieces then this is the film for you!!

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April Fool’s Day (1986)

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REVIEW
This is a fun little movie that proved better than I expected, but falls a little short towards the end. All the cast give good performances (especially Amy Steel, who was also excellent in Friday the 13th, Part 2), but some of the roles are decidedly restricting, and seem to only serve as cardboard set-ups for grisly murders. Deborah Foreman was also rather good as Muffy (what kind of a name is that?!), and she gets pretty creepy after the initial party at her house. The males of the cast are rather nondescript and samey, with the possible exception of Griffin O’Neil, who brigntened things up a little.

The directing and music are rather impressive, and set up some neat scares. I was also surprised at how well the tension was built up considering this is an 80’s horror movie – and most 80’s horrors were obsessed only with creating a huge body count with a splash of nudity. The haunting melody that plays over the opening credits and a number of times through-out the movie is both sweet and unsettling, which is a nice effect.

The revelation is a bit of a disappointment, and gives the entire movie a sense of ‘so what?’, which is a shame for something that was – up until then – rather quality and substantial.

OVERALL SUMMARY
While, at times, April Fool’s Day can be slightly unsettling, and there is a nice sense of fun about it, it falls sadly short in a number of areas. The cast is surprisingly adequate, and do well with what roles they have, but there is a distinct feel of ‘so what’ when the revelation comes along…

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