April 9, 2018 Rave Party Massacre (Movie Review)
The year is 1992. The world has just recently gone through massive political changes with the Soviet Union falling apart and the Iron Curtain opening. Also, Bill Clinton was elected to replace George Bush Sr. as president of the United States. Although the changes occurring are not just political: a new culture is developing revolving around young people dancing nonstop to ear-deafening, raw electronic music, taking pills and having meaningless sex – the rave culture. Arriving to DVD and VOD on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 thanks to Breaking Glass Pictures, this is where the new Slasher offering Rave Party Massacre, also known as DeadThirsty, sets in.
Rachel (Sara Bess: Test Group 2015, Shay 2016) and her conspiracy-theorizing boyfriend Branson (Jared Sullivan in his acting debut) arrive in front of a run-down hospital to participate in an underground rave party. Before actually entering the building, they get into a fight; as Branson would much rather stay in the car and doesn’t “think it’s a good idea” to attend the rave, while Rachel is already fitting a pink wig. Regardless of Branson’s efforts to convince her otherwise, she enters the building, getting greeted with a pill by a masked stranger.
Soon Branson follows his upset and angry girlfriend, but just as he leaves her to get drinks Rachel meets Thomas (Pedro Ferreira in his first acting job), who does not even need ten minutes to lead her to a secluded area to have drug-induced, half-hallucinating sex with her. Meanwhile, Branson’s vain endeavours to look for Rachel only end in spilling drinks on Clare (Melissa Kunnap: The Righteous 2018), who starts flirting with and kissing on him. Still trying to find his girlfriend, Branson soon discovers Rachel’s involvement with Thomas, blankly staring at them making out.
Unfortunately, when Clare pays a visit to the toilet, feeling unwell, she is watched by Phillip (Evan Taylor Williams: Remember the Goal 2016, Nashville series), a seemingly shy loner listening to Classical music on his Walkman. Here, the film abruptly cuts to the next morning with everyone awakening in the hospital. Rachel, locked in one of the hospital’s morgue drawers, is saved by Thomas, and the party of five come together to search for an exit while being secretly watched by the masked, pill-popping stranger from yesterday.
Advertised as a “slaughter fest” and “blood-soaked Slasher,” Rave Party Massacre is actually more of a Thriller than the everyday killer-murders-everyone-around flick one would expect. While the outlining is the same – with a group of youngsters trapped in a building with a crazy assassin – there is actually more to it here, and that makes the film interesting and sets it apart.
In the first part of the film, the blurry, shaky shots work so well that the viewer actually feels as if they are a part of the rave. This is only enhanced by the actors’ voices being suppressed by the 150 BPM pumping around them. For most movies this might be a problem, but Rave Party Massacre tells the story through pictures rather than words. While most other Slashers lack a strong narrative and are more after scares and gore, Rave Party Massacre has a disturbing plot which only adds to the unsettling feeling it creates in its audience. Writer/Director Jason Winn, known for films such as 2010’s The Fat Boy Chronicles, did not only do a good job providing the story, but also excelled in the director’s chair. Every shot seems well-planned and equally well-executed, and the abrupt switch from the rave party at night to the next morning feels like an actual hangover from partying all night long.
Although Rave Party Massacre offers an immersive plot and excellent directorial work, it actually lacks a set of consistently convincing actors. While the cat here do a solid job, there are dull moments in their performances and they sometimes feel a bit too anxious delivering their roles. This could have been definitely worked out a little better and would have only helped the development of the story even further. Also, the film definitely lacks a proper budget, most noticeably on the special effects which are almost non-existent; however, this is quite understandable as it is a not a big studio production.
Summing up, Rave Party Massacre is definitely worth a watch (and maybe more than one). With a generic title as this film bears, it might be overlooked as trash which would be a pity as it definitely has more to offer than one may think. In its relatively short runtime of 85 minutes, the film knows how to tell its tale and leaves the audience wondering what they have just watched. Rave Party Massacre definitely knows to impress with the strong aspects being its plot and directing, and for these reasons CrypticRock give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.