Christie Vela, Michael Federico, Brandon Potter, Max Hartman (executive) for Bad Omen
directed by Christie Vela
starring Gabrielle Reyes, Madison Calhoun, Kenneisha Thompson, Liza Marie Gonzalez, Tex Patrello, Ania Lyons, Edgar Flores, Parker Davis Gray, Isa Flores, Katy Tye, Carson Wright, Brandon Potter, Joel Ferrell, Christie Vela, Michael Federico, Max Hartman, Nicole Berastequi, Jeffrey Schmidt, Natalie Young, Drew Wall, Lydia Mackay, Sally Vahle, Paul T. Taylor, Aspen Taylor, Maddie Kuenzer, Kateri Cale, Jeremiah Johnson, James Stroman, Gloria Vivica Benavides, Chachie Hood, Ani Vera
written by Michael Federico, music by Brad Dale, Max Hartman, special effects by Emma Siate
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Eight kids in their late teens (Gabrielle Reyes, Tex Patrello, Ania
Lyns, Edgar Flores, Parker Davis Gray, Isa Flores) are chosen for all over
the country to take part in a ridiculously overpriced acting workshop
where they'll in two weeks put up a show, but not just any show but a
musical murder mystery, under the guidance of director Margo (Liza Marie
Gonzalez), acting teacher Bernard (Brandon Potter), choreographer Charles
(Joel Ferrell), singing coach Steph (Madison Calhoun), and of course the
totally overworked floor manager Lindsey (Kenneisha Thompson). Of course
the head of operations (Jeffrey Schmidt) should have also been present,
but he bailed out in the nick of time - and had so good a trumped up
excuse nobody even suspected he could have been murdered by a masked
maniac. Anyways, at first everything goes very well at the camp with just
the usual frictions between students and teachers, students and other
students, and of course also between teachers. But there's even romance
between the camp's main beauty and lead actress Sagan (Gabrielle Reyes)
and brooding lead singer Nixon (Parker Davis Gray). But then one night
while Bernard has invited Sagan to go over the opening monologue with her,
he tries to drug and rape her, and she gets away only just, being a
trained dancer. That same night though, the masked maniac kills Charles.
The two cops on the case (Christie Vela, Michael Federico) are quick to
zero in on Bernard as the main suspect, and digging in his past they find
out that taking advantage of young and innocent actresses was pretty much
something he's always done, and all the staff at the workshop actually
knew about this - but then Charles gives them the slip, while more and
more of the workshop's staff and students drop like flies ...
film achieves something really remarkable as objectively speaking it's a
by-the-book slasher - only subjectively it doesn't feel like one.
Basically that's achieved by giving the murderous proceedings a very solid
narrative foundation in the goings-on in the workshop, something that's in
itself also strong as a story even before serving as backstory (in a
roundabout way) for the killer, that dares to include social commentary
and a strong #metoo message, and that's populated by fleshed out and
colourful characters, plus writer and director Michael Federico and
Christie Vela, respectively, as the investigating cops lend just the right
comic relief to the whole thing, without ever coming across as moronic or
forced. That all said, I can also assure all slasher afficionados the
violence in this film is also fittingly creative and hard-hitting, making
this a well rounded-out piece of genre entertainment for sure.