GetAWAY is a surprisingly effective slasher that comes this close from revitalizing the horror sub genre. With a less derivative final act it could have been been one of the better horror films in years.
The benefit to a weaker conclusion is the first third of the film is very impressive with better than average performances, strongly established characters and a creative boogeyman killer. A group of film students head to the woods to shoot a slasher flick for their final project.
Among the students is Maddie (Emma Norville), who welcomed the chance to get off of campus and the heartache of her breakup with her ex, Noah (Joshua Cody). Noah hasn’t had much problem moving on and brings his mew girlfriend, Kayla (Danielle Carrozza).
At least Maddie can take some solace in hanging with her best friend, Harlowe (Franchesca Contreras) and the rest of the crew. That proves short-lived when a killer starts taking out the crew and films the murders to ensure their name lives in infamy.
Director/screenwriter Blayne Weaver gets about 90 percent of a great slasher right. The cast are totally dialed in with their characters, the ambience has that desired sense of uneasiness and there’s a number of potential suspects.
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Most impressively, GetAWAY was co-produced by The Film Studio at Shenandoah University and most of the cast are legit current and former students.
Michael Recchia is one of the strongest of the performers as the overbearing director’s laid back boyfriend, Krog. Recchia has the kind of charisma that would have resulted in plenty of work during the 90s, which always had roles for that sarcastic cool character.
Norville plays the nuanced final girl well and Contreras has the cool best friend role down. This year has seen a plethora of low-budget films that capsize almost immediately due to lousy performances from actors with full resumes. Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of the GetAWAY cast as they show a ton of potential.
Weaver makes some curious decisions with the victims taking a very passive approach to their survival. They plead with the killer or act like they’re playing freeze tag instead of actively fighting for their survival.
The biggest problem comes with the final act, which feels far too influenced from a modern classic 90s horror film.
Weaver adds a change for the worse and upends some of the goodwill he’d established. This doesn’t completely ruin the film, but with a better killer motive, GetAWAY really could have been special.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Gravitas Ventures