Slumber Party Massacre (Most Overlooked Film of 2021)


In my last column I discussed Last Night in Soho, an ill-advised attempt to ride the “good for her” wave. But I didn’t mean to imply that the theme (traumatized women shaking back to kick ass) is played out. There’s still plenty of life in it, and 2021’s best example comes in an unexpected form: a Syfy Original classic slasher remake! I was excited when I heard the next entry in the OG feminist horror franchise was going to be helmed by Danishka Esterhazy, whose work I’d enjoyed in The Banana Splits Movie and Level 16. When I found out it was a Syfy Original, I was less enthused, and when it seemingly landed without any impact, I figured it was a whiff. That’s why you can’t trust anybody, because SPM 2021 is a screaming, unsubtle, postmodern without being annoyingly meta, glorious gory triumph. Too often, films like this are so preoccupied with “having something to say” that they forget to be good horror movies.


SPM 2021 avoids that pitfall: it has as much subversive messaging as whatever self-important “elevated horror” du jour, while taking time to be a cracking slasher movie along the way. When was the last time you watched a slasher comedy that made you care enough about the characters to be genuinely upset when they died? That’s hard enough for one of those bleak po-faced prestige horrors to pull off, let alone something as unpretentious as this. Esterhazy and screenwriter Suzanne Keilly manage an impressive gambit, gradually unfolding the characters in a way similar to the real-life process of getting to know somebody, rather than dumping all the save-the-cats on you in the first five minutes. The result is the dumbest smart movie, the subtlest unsubtle movie, and the best pure slasher in a decade.


Slumber Party Massacre Official Site

Written by Cthulen, Dead Dreamer

Slumber Party Massacre (2021, US)
Danishka Esterhazy
4.5 / 5