Fest Track On Sirk TV Film Review: INIT!ATION [Screamfest 2020 – Virtual]

The progression of college-based ideas in terms of the horror tropes have run the gamut but as many genre films have shown as of late, it is the harm of social media and bad postings that scare many, more so younger than old. Whether it be the dark narcissism of “Spree” at Sundance earlier this year to the earliest form of it 6 or so years ago with “King Kelly” at SxSW, the texture is about identifying and moving with the idea of what the main protagonist is experiencing. Lindsay LeVenchy plays Ellery, who is enjoying college and playing the party game as much as she can while keeping her girls safe as a leader at her sorority without sacrificing the fun to be had. it is an interesting approach which is a nice change in terms of cognizance of drunken behavior on both sides of the fence. However, as often happens in these movies, events go awry. What is interesting as this subset of the genre continues to grow is the aspect of showing the phone actions on screen as an extension of identity. When said event happens. Ellery is at a crossroads because the action taken could have been committed by her brother who is part of. While the story and plot points initially moves the narrative towards an idea of genetic mutation, it settles for something more grounded while still keeping the audience still in the dark about who the vigilante is, as it is motivated by a single signal of an exclamation point in a post. The idea of this trigger is not as clear as it should be but the misdirects in terms of religious imagery and motivations ae well played. The actions of said killer do have a pattern to them but the path of the movie is more about assumptions then initiations in the fraternities or sororities. While the pacing is effective, the stakes and emotional resonance never quite takes full hold in a way that it could have.

C

By Tim Wassberg