Founders Day / Dark Sky Films (2024)

Founders Day (Movie Review)

The blueprint for the Slasher film was cast in the 1970s, exploited throughout the 1980s, and all but sanitized for mainstream audiences by the late 1990s. While some may say it is Horror’s least imaginative forms of entertainment, no one can deny it being the most overtly popular division of the genre. Whatever it might be, the Slasher has survived decades of trend shifts and to this day is the one form of Horror that sells the most broadly.

Considering this, the latest entry into the Slasher world is a little film called Founders Day. First rolled out through Dark Sky Films in theaters back on January 19th, followed by a premiere on VOD/Digital Platforms on May 7th, now on June 4th it arrives on Blu-ray. One of 2024’s more popularly discussed Horror films thus far, Founders Day is the work of the Erik Bloomquist and Carson Bloomquist; brothers who handled the heavy work of writing, directing and producing the project. Having worked together on other more recent independent films – such as 2020’s Ten Minutes to Midnight and 2022’s She Came from the Woods – it is clear the two filmmakers have an affection for the Horror genre that runs deep. Commending their dedication, the question remains… does Founders Day offer anything worth checking out?

Founders Day movie
Founders Day / Dark Sky Films (2024)

Well, this really all depends on who you ask, because while their approach may appeal to some, it will turn off others. Simplifying it, Founders Day follows a pretty standard Scream-like connect-the-dots formula that a good portion of moviegoers seem to enjoy. Here you have two politicians pining for their community’s support in a pending election for mayor, but in the shadows, there is a masked killing strategically knocking off people around them. Sending the small town into a panic, and easy enough to follow, there is really nothing all too shocking in the first ninety or so minutes of this film. Marred with shallow, unlikeable characters and displaced over-emotional scenes, it is ultimately the climax that offers you some interesting concepts.

Not giving anything away, the motivates behind the murder spree are drawn out in the waning minutes, but the final strike falls short of leaving a what could have been a much deeper cut. Drenched with political satire throughout the film, unfortunately there is little resolve in the closing that leaves feeling very fulfilled. Yes, everything does come together like a jigsaw puzzle, however, you cannot help feeling how unfocused the messaging truly is. Sure, everyone enjoys a story that is open to interrupation, but something here just seems to miss the mark. 

Founders Day movie
Founders Day / Dark Sky Films (2024)

Nonetheless, Founders Day is not without its merits; because the performance of veteran Actor William Russ steals the show. Russ, well-known for his role as Alan Matthews in the hit series Boy Meets World, and quite an underrated professional actor in his own right, takes on a pivotal role in this film that truly prevents it from unraveling. So, if you are a fan of Scream, or any of the countless other more glossy Slasher films that have been put out there over the last twenty years, Founders Day may interest you. For anyone else looking for something that is a bit different or less shiny, it may not be as interesting. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this film 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Founders Day / Dark Sky Films (2024)
Founders Day / Dark Sky Films (2024)

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