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#ChadGetsTheAxe review

Livestreaming and found footage horror have proven to be a match made in cinematic heaven…or should that be hell? #ChadGetsTheAxe is a tremendous skewering of influencer culture, the temperamental adoration of followers and reality culture as well as just being a well-crafted horror film.

Chad (Spencer Harrison Levin) is an obnoxious, attention-starved streamer who will do anything to rack up hundreds and thousands of views. From dressing up as a ninja and jump kicking pizza out of unsuspecting pizza joint customer hands to riding horseback style on a bikini-clad hottie, nothing is too low for Chad.

The strategy has worked for Chad and he’s got immense cloud in the streaming circuit. His massive audience is enough of a draw that fellow streamers Spicy Steve (Michael Bonini) and Spennifer aka Jennifer (Taneisha Figueroa) and her camera-holding boyfriend, Spencer (Cameron Vitosh) are all too happy to collaborate. Even if Chad is kind of a tool.

#chadgetstheaxe review - spicy steve, chad and spennifer

Steve gets a lead on the run-down deserted home of a former satanic cult and the group decides to livestream their spooky walkthrough. For Steve, the quest is a matter of redemption as his last haunted tour went awry thanks to a prank from his “good pal” Chad.

One of the highlights of #ChadGetsTheAxe is the chat stream. The comments provide the bulk of the film’s comedy with the wild statements. There are some clever running jokes like a younger viewer who fails to get any pop culture reference, another who wants Chad to check out his stream and another with a foot fetish.

#chadgetstheaxe review - jennifer and chad

Director/co-screenwriter Travis Bible and co-screenwriter Kemerton Hargrove nail the fake courage behind the anonymous chat window as some of the chat participants say some awfully mean-spirited things they’d never say in person. Due to the livestream nature of the film, the chat has the ability to influence how the events play out for better or worse.

Bible masterfully navigates the found footage perspective with a livestream setup. Bible doesn’t have the “cell phone video cameras” bouncing around so much that it’s hard to focus. Instead, he keeps it moving just enough to sell the perspective of everything being recorded via the characters.


To break up the camera lens perspective, Bible also has the characters constantly switching to streams, texting each other and utilizing other phone features. This cleverly breaks up what could be a monotonous view of solely seeing from the standard cell phone view.

The cast is solid. While they start off on solidly vapid influencers all about moving merch and pushing likes and subscribers, the cast is able to bring nuance to their characters to make them sympathetic or at least more likable as they start disappearing.

There are just a few issues with #ChadGetsTheAxe. Most of the “issues” are small scale gripes. Maybe the most significant is with four on site characters, there’s not a lot of victim fodder. Maybe a few friends doubling as production crew could have helped expand the body count?

This is an unintended consequence of the terrific interaction and dialogue Bible and Hargrove establish among the foursome. A few extra characters could have allowed for more pairings and pace out the deaths a bit better.

When the film shifts from creepy to horror the transition is seamless with well-staged jump scares and unnerving, hold your breath moments.

#chadgetstheaxe review -spencer and jennifer

With any horror film the characters have to make some questionable decisions. If they truly approached bizarre and creepy events realistically it’d make for a short movie. Bible and Hargrove largely work around that horror trope by using the lure of encouragement from viewers as the characters’ motivation for bad choices.

Just as important, they do allow the characters to be resourceful enough to not make themselves willing victims. Moreso than going to the home of a satanic cult for views of course. While they might make one bad decision, they make a reasonably smart choice in terms of making several life-threatening moves.

#ChadGetsTheAxe was a very pleasant surprise taking full advantage of influencer culture and setting in a creepy

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The Horror Collective

You can check out #ChadGetsTheAxe now on Amazon.

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