The Night Before Easter 2014 Review

The Night Before Easter 2014

Directed by: Joseph Henson, Nathan Johnson

Starring: April Sinclair, Emily Chidalek, Alyssa Matusiak

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Review by Luis Joaquín González

Wow we’re almost in April already, this year has really flown by. So here I have a film that I have to admit that I was interested in seeing. I don’t know directors Joseph Henson or Nathan Johnson personally, but 87487483983983093093093093they’re friends of JA Kerswell, the scribe that motivated me to begin writing-up slasher films. As a geeky teen, before I could afford my own dial-up internet connection, I used to head to my local library to check out Hysteria Lives and it was reassuring knowing that there were other slasher nerds in the world just like 87487487398398390930933me. I was truly grateful when JA asked me to contribute to his website and from those humble scribbles, a SLASH above was born.

The reason that I was so keen to check out The Night Before Easter was because I can logically relate to Joseph and Nathan; two true fans that finally got the chance to make their own addition to our beloved genre. I’m a person of self-reflection and I would be a liar if I said that I didn’t think about the criticisms I deliver and that it’s easy to talk from afar without ever having made my own motion picture. So how would two equally as prolific slasher critics get on when they jumped in at the deep end?

Some friends decide to spend the night together to say goodbye to one of their group that’s moving to London. Their local town is shrouded in the rumours of a maniac called Alex Sykes who many years 7838738739839830939309back butchered his family whilst dressed as an Easter Bunny. As the alcohol flows, the revellers are stalked by an identical looking spectre. Has Sykes returned to seek revenge?

I’m happy to say that there’s a lot of fun to be had with TNBE and it’s comforting knowing that the film is in the hands of a crew that understand what’s needed to tick the relevant boxes. We are treated to a storming killer bunny that really brought to mind the hulking maniacs of old. There’s also an abundance of gooey red stuff to keep gore hounds chomping and a couple of extremely creative kill-scenes. Alyssa Matusiak makes for a foxy final girl and the fact that we see her get inebriated means that she’s far more genuine than the stereotypical Laurie Stroud template. I was surprised to see that she hasn’t got any other pictures in the pipeline as of yet, because the actress showed immense potential in her debut role. Henson and Johnson play it safe with their direction, but one scene that I thought really worked was the murder of a partially sighted victim that’d lost her glasses. A blurred screen POV was used to convey her vision as the boogeyman stalked up to8743873873983983983093 murder her and it reminded me of a similar sequence from Nightmare on the 13th Floor.

Whilst there’s truly a heap of credibility to be found in the slasher scenes, the character development parts were where the film struggled to maintain the same level of credibility. Unlike most of the Western world, I’m not a fan of Big Brother, and the reason for that is because I once returned home late from work and decided to give it a try to see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps because it was halfway through a series, I was confused as to the attraction in watching a group of strangers discussing another group of people that I didn’t know or 7887873873983893983093093have any interest in. It felt like sitting on a train behind a couple that are conversing about their work friends; – it’s hard to engage yourself to subjects that you have no knowledge of.

After an intriguing opening, TNBE introduces its players with them standing in a circle and talking of their lives at school. I can appreciate that as a concept, this might seem a viable way of unraveling key script members and I admire that these filmmakers understand the importance of character definition. However, there’s only so much of, “Riley dated Kelly, but Kelly’s such a b**tch” that I could listen to, before I had to ask, “Hold on, who’s Riley again? I think I know who Kelly is, but isn’t she with Barney? Hold on, who’s Barney…? Fred? Wilma? Yabba 7676387487983983983093Dabba Dingle, can we get to the slashing please…?” Later, the discussions began to switch to heart pouring from some of the soon-to-be-victims about their weaknesses or whether they’ve been genuine to their friends. I guess that these were included in an effort to magnify the personalities, make them more human and build a level of sympathy for their demises, which thus would make them have a bigger impact on the audience. Again, this is a good idea, but I never attached myself to anyone from the story and therefore found these parts to be awkward and unnecessary. I’m not saying that it’s an easy task, but when you think about movies like Halloween or Friday the 13th that mastered the creation of intriguing characterisations in a horror universe, they did so with the simplest of methods that 7676387387398398209209092avoided overindulgence. The risk that Henson and Johnson ran was that a lot of time is spent in the hands of uninteresting cast members and it proved a challenge for the film to rediscover its momentum.

Still, when the killer gets to work, the good outweighs the bad and The Night Before Easter overcomes it’s obvious budget deficiency to provide some thrills and spills. I can honestly say that behind the film’s lesser parts was the glaring logic as to why those decisions were taken and even if not everything worked, it was a bold effort all round. I am looking forward to Gory Graduation… Happy Easter

Slasher Trappings:

Killer Guise:√√√√

Gore:√√√

Final Girl:√√√

RATING: a-slash-above-logo11a-slash-above-logo-211

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Posted on March 26, 2016, in Slasher and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. The writing was okay, but I personally found the slasher action disappointing after all of that mushy “I’m leaving my friends! Oh my gosh, I have to be mushy” crap. Building likable characters is okay for my book, just make them die effectively so the impact would do justice. Like really effectively. with a bunnyman that looks less than Chewbacca’s albino father’s brother’s cousin’s second former roommate.

    • Yeah I agree that’s what I said – too much heart string attempts and mushiness in flat cardboard characters, but the slasher stuff was pretty cool

      • I guess what matters is that you (somewhat) enjoyed it. A little more than I did, really.
        Can’t wait to see your next review and Happy Easter, compadre’!

  2. Do you know if this has a dvd release? And if so which website can I buy it? I love indie slasher films like “Don’t go to the Reunion”, “Dismembering Christmas”, “The Orange Man” and “Presidents Day”

    • I’ve seen most of the films there save “The Orange Man”. I looked it up and i think I’m “hooked” (Ba-dum-bum-tsh!)

      But seriously, that sounds like the kind of indie I could try.

    • I have a DVD! I believe I got it from Amazon 🙂

      • I checked Amazon and Ebay and cannot find it anywhere. I’ll keep checking I need these to my collection.

        I just bought “The Greenskeeper” “The Pool” and “Venom (2005)” off Amazon so my trip to that site wasn’t a complete waste.

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