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Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 90: The Initiation

The Initiation
He's going to get wax all over his disgustingly veiny hand

I wasn't particularly in the mood to watch something specific today so I chose something at random. Sometimes you can find a hidden gem, something you have never heard of that turns out to be great. Sometimes you can actually become stupider from watching the bottom of the barrel (The Video Dead for example). I chose the Initiation because it was a slasher from the 80s. Those were all good, right? Right?! Horror movies is like a box of chocolates, you never know what it's going to make you want to violently vomit in disgust.

The Initiation stars Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs, One Tree Hill) as college student Kelly Fairchild. Kelly is the pledge at the Delta Ro Kai sorority and is going through the Hell Week initiation process to become a sister. Kelly is plagued by a horrible recurring nightmare involving her parents. She sees her mother in bed with another man, Kelly stabbing the man, then her gather coming into the room and getting set on fire. Pretty crazy stuff. Kelly meets a grad student named Peter who volunteers to help Kelly deal with her nightmare. At the same time, we learn that a man named Jason Randall has escaped a mental institution, cutting a bloody swath straight to Kelly, taking out her father in the process. The Delta Ro Kai initiation leads to Kelly and the remaining pledges being tasked to sneak into Kelly's father's department store, where they have to steal the guard's clothes. Some boys and sorority sisters sneak in to the store and frighten the girls, but the fear turns real when they are picked off one by one. What does Jason Randall want with Kelly, were those dreams really suppressed memories, and will Kelly survive?

Zach and Slater take their rivalry to a new level

Jeez, where do I being? The Initiation is your basic slasher with about 3 other subplots thrown in just to confuse you and waste precious movie time. If you cut out all the dream sequences and scenes involving Kelly talking in her sleep, you still would have had a complete movie. There's a little side plot involving her friend Marcia and sex that just makes me feel uncomfortable and bored. It makes me feel uncomfortabored. The whole dreams/memory plot is just confusing and unnecessary. It seems like the writers came up with a weak twist ending and worked their way backwards. The twist doesn't come out of left field, it comes out of a completely different stadium. From a different sport. In another country. I mean this ending was worthy of coming from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan after a 3 day bender on nothing but powdered donuts and Schlitz malt liquor.

The action in the movie is passable with some blood and excitement. The movie does use an interesting first person perspective when someone is being killed. The music used throughout is pure 80s horror synth which can be great at times and unbearably cheesey at other times. The movie is very 80's right down to the big hair and dance party scene. Daphne Zuniga does a fine job and I'm not just saying that because she was Princess Vespa from Spaceballs. Beyond her and her parents played by Vera Miles (Psycho, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) and Clu Gallagher (Return Of The Living Dead, The Virginian), the acting is pretty bad. 

And you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around

If The Initiation had just stuck with being a slasher movie, it would have been fine. Not great, but passable. Unfortunately, it decided to stick chunks of other ideas into the plot, thus ruining just about any chance for entertainment. The real cherry on the shit sundae is the horrible and confusing twist ending. Picking a random moving can sometimes be worth your while, but more often than not, you're in for some serious pain.


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