21st Feb2019

‘The 6th Friend’ Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Jamie Bernadette, Chantelle Albers, Dominique Swain, Jessica Morris, Tania Nolan, Monique Rosario, David Villada | Written by Jamie Bernadette, Letia Clouston | Directed by Letia Clouston

6th-friend-poster

How many friends is too many friends? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly is 6…

5 years after a private graduation party went awry (mostly for a man in a horror mask) our group of female friends head off to a cabin in the woods for a reunion. What could possibly go wrong? Our set up is simple. The 6th Friend trailer talks about “doom” and “secrets”… I tell you what a great, an all-female horror film involving ALL those things. The Descent. I wish I was watching The Descent.

It says something about my upbringing that when one of the ladies is rude to the male stripper / drug dealer I bristled slightly at how inconsiderate “Heather” was of the man’s feelings. A small businessman no less. What else do women talk about when us, simple men folk aren’t around? Well.. “it depends” is the correct answer but here it is ladies talking about their “terrifying bushes”.

Speaking of girl power.. The film makers have made it easy for us… There is the red headed “ginger” the blonde “baby”, the sporty one, the black one “scary” (possibly the one with the monstrous bush.. I don’t remember. It is possible I blanked it out due to the trauma). Alcohol? Sex talk? Ice cream straight out of the tub? All is going fine until posh spice (Joey) starts going on about how they did a murder last time. She really knows how to spoil the mood of a party.

Some of the more interesting dialogue about “women and related topics” was from “sporty” – the possibly antipodean one with the globe trotting accent that was harder to pin down than a koala on a walkabout (the character is called Sahara). The mystery of her origin will haunt me. One question I never got answer for was why are our group of ladies for the most part in their mid 30s? I chose to believe they were doing their MBA.

Having said all that, from the moment the door slams and the horror and slashing kicks in The 6th Friend is competently made. I wished one of the characters would stop saying “bitch” so often but apart from that it is enjoyable fair.

Considering the low production values (and importantly how much I forgot about that) there is some skill and flair behind the film making and there are moments when they manage to create a reasonably enjoyable and believable dynamic but I must qualify that by saying the plot is quite derivative. The acting isn’t bad either if a bit hoaky at times but you know what you are signing up for in a slasher film. It is no Black Christmas and there are a number of films I could reel off and compare it to but you know what? The 6th Friend isn’t a bad film.

One of the joys of slashers is the poor decision making of the would be victims that often leads to their demise and there is some good value in this regard to be had here! Plus the ratio of plot to bloodshed is about 50:50 which is a healthy balance, that means we have some interest in our core group before the slashing starts.

If you are in the mood for a slasher film and you’ve already seen the classics there is no reason not to “take a stab” at The 6th Friend (but if you haven’t seen The Descent go and watch that first, it was great).

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