Initiation (2021) Review

Directed By: John Barardo

Starring: Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Lindsay LaVanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffith, Patrick R. Walker, James Berardo, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler, Lochlyn Munro, and Maxwell Hamilton

Synopsis: Sex, drugs and cyber-bullying collide in this edgy slasher about a cruel social media game that spins out of control. Initiation sees Whiton University unravel on the night a star-athlete is murdered in the wake of a buried assault allegation, kicking off a spree of social media-linked slayings. As a masked killer targets students across campus, a trio of sorority sisters races to uncover the truth behind the school’s hidden secrets — and the horrifying meaning of an exclamation point – before they become the next victims. A thought-provoking thrill ride starring Bart Johnson (High School Musical) , Yancy Butler (Kick-Ass, Hard Target), Lochlyn Munro (The Predator, Riverdale), Jon Huertas (This Is Us) and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), Initiation was written and directed by John Barardo.

Review: Initiation is a fun slasher; it delivers a gripping story with plenty of blood and splatter for good measure.

Initiation has a very realistic vibe to it; it incorporates cyber-bullying which, as we all know, is an unfortunate and repugnant part of the world we live in.The movie grants us with honest character insight; it discloses the characters’ private social messages on screen, which is a cool feature to have.

Lindsay LaVanchy is a real wunderkind; she delivers an outstanding performance, and brings everything she’s got to the table. In fact, the entire cast are fantastic! In most slashers, we are subjected to some dodgy, cheeseball acting, but not with this movie, which is refreshing.

Yancy Butler plays the detective trying to solve the murders that are happening. Yancy is always a pleasure to watch on screen; she can play the innocent, shy type, or full-blown, badass heroine (like Sarah Connor in The Terminator franchise). This time, Yancy’s character is very focused and on-task, and again, she delivers a great performance.

Lochlyn Munro is always welcome on screen. He plays the headteacher who tries to muzzle the mishappenings in the school, to save reputations; he is portrayed like a semi-villain.

Overall, Initiation is a stirring slasher with gut-churning deaths, that rejuvenates the genre to bring cyber-bullying to its focal point (rather than the standard scenario of ‘class humiliation’). The acting is champion, and the lead actress has a promising career ahead of her.

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