Black Friday! (2021) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Black Friday! (2021) Review

Horrorific content by Bleaz79 on November 27th, 2021 | Movie Review | Comedy, Holiday, Thanksgiving, Zombie, B-Horror

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It’s about a group of toy store employees who must work together to survive when the store is invaded by parasite infected shoppers on Black Friday.

Black Friday was directed by Casey Tebo and stars Devon Sawa (from Final Destination), Michael Jai White (from Spawn), Bruce Campbell (from Evil Dead) and Ivana Baquero (from Pan's Labyrinth) among others.

They have no idea what tonight has in-store

Black Friday Review

A wannabe mash-up of Shaun Of The Dead, The Blob and Dawn Of The Dead.

This is a great concept, it’s a siege/survival movie with zombies, sorry “infected”, in a toy store on a day when shoppers routinely go feral, add to that a group of actors with a wealth of experience in horror and horror comedy, some gloopy visual effects and a short sharp pace, what could go wrong? Unfortunately, it turns out quite a lot.

Only one character, Marnie, is even remotely likeable, everyone else is selfish, unlikeable and annoying, not even Bruce Campbell can save things with his store manager coming across as the most cliched character in the entire film, rarely does his innate charm and charisma shine through. Every other character is a seen it all before stereotype, and you know exactly where their character is going to go, what will happen to them and what they’re actually possibly hiding.

The script is painfully predictable, with absolutely no idea how to satirise a premise that is ripe for satire. The dialogue, liberally peppered with f-bombs, is stilted and ridiculous, again every box is ticked in a seeming pursuit of familiar yet lazy tropes and characterisation. The direction, for what there is of it, is pedestrian with zero sense of urgency when there should be a continuous feeling of danger; and the less said about the visual effects, the better. Bar some solid practical and makeup effects, especially on the infected, everything else looks cheap and silly.

Most egregiously, for a horror comedy, the comedy is practically non-existent, I think I laughed twice and even those were more a chuckle than a guffaw.

There are a couple of positives with the film. When Bruce Campbell gets to be more Bruce Campbell, he’s a highlight, as is Michael Jai White ostensibly playing against type as a warehouse worker at the store rather than the tough guy that we expect and Devon Sawa is always solid. Ivana Baquero is the standout here though, relatable and forthright, never being a damsel in distress, she is far better than the material that she is lumbered with here.

I just don’t get how such a great idea was so badly executed to the point that it actually becomes boring when it should be funny and exciting.

Worth Watching?

It’s unfortunately a resounding no. Unfunny, not scary and distinctly lacking in any charm, wit or satire. It’s a massive wasted opportunity that could have been so much more.

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