The other night I was given the opportunity to check out my first early screener as a Horror Syndicate movie reviewer. A new milestone for me! (I know, I am easily excitable.) The anticipation I felt mounted as I anxiously awaited the link to show up in my e-mail inbox. When the time finally had arrived, the popcorn was made and the beers were cracked open. Then I turned out the lights and dove right into the upcoming independent slasher flick Party Night (2017).
Spoiler Free Synopsis
Written, directed and produced by first time film maker Troy Escamilla, Party Night follows a group of six friends on their prom night. After dancing the night away, these teens decide against going to the school ran after prom party. These kids have their own party in mind. So, they decided to trek out to a family owned house on the outskirts of town. Armed with beer and their hormones, these teens are in for a night they will never forget. As a suspicious hooded psychopath stalks them, one by bloody one. Who will survive as they try to make it until morning?
Party Night was successfully crowd funded on Kickstarter on March 12, 2016 raising only $12,281.00. Which beat their initial goal of $10,700.00! Filmed on a shoe string budget from June 8th-22nd 2016. (16 days?!?!) I’m sure filming at such a hectic pace was a crazy experience. This whirlwind campaign culminated with post production wrapping up this past week, which brings us to now.
This little slasher is an endearing love letter to its wonderfully campy predecessors of the 1980’s. You can truly tell director Escamilla is a horror movie fan making a movie for horror fans. The film stars a young group of up and comers. Tommie Vegas, Billy Brannigan, Destinie Orndoff, Ryan Poole, Laurel Toupal and Drew Shotwell round out the cast. The actors play well off each other. With Vegas and newcomer Toupal really shining. For a film of this caliber, the acting is decent. Even with campiness in the dialogue, like the movies they are trying to emulate.
The man behind the camera was Derek Huey. Alongside Escamilla’s direction, Hueys’ work at times was quite impressive. They created a few good moments of suspense and sheer terror. The flicks death scenes were also pretty good. With some really over the top practical special effects by newcomer Heather Benson. The blood spurts were the best!
I enjoyed this film. It’s far from the best I’ve seen in the slasher sub-genre, but it is also far from the worst on the opposite end of the spectrum. But if we take the budget into consideration, the cast and crew really made this film work with what it lacked financially. Don’t get me wrong, this film is far from perfect. But you can really tell the cast and crew were completely invested in the final product.
Here would be the part where I would link IMDB’s rating of the film. But since this film hasn’t been officially released I will give you my initial rating of Party Night (2017).