15th Aug2017

‘WTF!’ Review

by Philip Rogers

Stars: Callie Ott, Nicholas James Reilly, Andrea Hunt, Benjamin Norris, Sarah Agor, Adam Foster, Johnny James Fiore, Perez Hilton, Shawn C. Phillips, Chloe Berman, Cheyann Dillon | Written by Adam Buchalter, Peter Herro, Christopher Centanni | Directed by Peter Herro

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Three years ago, Rachel (Callie Ott) barely survived a brutal massacre which left her friends murdered. Time has passed, Rachel has moved on, but when her friends invite her to spend the spring break at a cabin in the woods, she reluctantly accepts. It was meant to be a fun spring break, full of fun and relaxation, but as they all start to get killed off one by one, it looks as though Rachel’s fear has come true AGAIN!

If you didn’t guess from the acronym title, WTF! is very much a tongue and cheek slasher which was co-written and directed by Peter Herro. Although a lot of the comedy derives from the quick one liners, rather than a physical comedy which I was expecting. The opening scene gives you an indication of what you can expect – with a scene from the original massacre. As the camera moves towards the entrance of a cabin, we are introduced to a half-naked woman covered in blood. She runs out shouting an explicit version of the title, before being brought to the floor as a knife is thrown into her back. We move inside the house where we meet the final girl Rachel, who ascends on the killer, violently stabbing him to death with a knife…

Following a brutal opening, the remainder of the film interchanges between Rachel in an interrogation room, recalling her story as the only massacre survivor for a second time; and the events as they happened. The brief interrogation scenes work well to break up the story and add an additional outlook to the way the twists in the film unfold.

WTF! works well by not taking itself too seriously, which helps achieve the mixture between the films elements of horror and comedy. There is plenty of violence in the film but first blood is drawn using one of the few items that still make me wince, as Bonnie (Andrea Hunt) steps on a nail which we see protrudes straight though her foot! It’s a painful scene to watch, although the response from Bonnie as the nail is removed may make people wince even more as she cries “that was worse than a pedicure”. The main kills in the film are a lot more graphic and deliver a fair amount of blood and gore to keep most horror fans satisfied, including a sliced throat, castration, and burning. A few of the kills are quite dark, but the execution is still effective.

Whilst the film doesn’t offer too much originality and the main twist in the film is not difficult to work out (with the information which is provided early in the film); the film does provide an additional twist regarding the killer which may be harder to guess unless you’re a fan of French horror.

WTF! does have its issues, let down by the pacing in the first half of the film and some misguided frat boy banter between the characters which doesn’t really work. All of which is a complete contrast to the second half of the movie which movies at a much steadier pace with some quick-witted dialogue.

Callie Ott is one of the few likeable characters in WTF!, standing out as the traumatised Rachel, who has a real vulnerability to her character and the only one who doesn’t seem self-centred. Her performance is really reflected when you see her in the interrogation room, where she is in complete contrast to the person she was before the event. The main characters in the film are generic personalities in the first half of the film – apart from the survivor Rachel, who is still suffering from a post-traumatic disorder. Sadly they don’t develop any further in the second half of the film but the sharp, witty, script does make their performances more enjoyable. With quips from both Andrea Hunt as Bonnie and Sarah Agor as Lisa providing much of the comedy during the horror.

Overall WTF! delivers what you would expect from a slasher movie, with plenty of nudity and violence to fulfil the genres CV. However it is let down by slow pacing in the first half but… if you can stick with it… there is enough in the second half of the film to make it well worth your time.

WTF! is available on Cable VOD and Digital HD, including iTunes and Amazon, across the US from Midnight Releasing.

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