Have you ever noticed, in the world of horror film, how many characters-playing-student-filmmakers are always making a horror movie for their final project?...
...If we did the math, I’d estimate we’d be somewhere in the ninetieth percentile. If we also did the math on how many of those final projects end up truly being “final” (i.e., EVERYONE DIES), I’d estimate we might be close to 100%. If you take this concept, throw it in a wooden crate with several irritated squirrels who were just denied an auto loan from the credit union, shake it up, and spill out the contents—excluding the small animals—you’d pretty much have the plot of GetAWAY.
Writer/Director Blayne Weaver’s GetAWAY follows a handful of college students, more or less lead by aspiring actress Maddie (Emma Norville), who head up to a camp to—you guessed it—shoot a horror film for an aspiring filmmaker’s film school project. The mish-mash of standard, low-ish budget, B-movie slasher characters are ever present, not surprising, and slightly entertaining. As they head out to wherever-the-hell-the-cabins-are, we see conflict between Maddie and her recent ex, Noah (Joshua Cody), who just so happens to also be in the group with his new girlfriend Kayla (Danielle Carrozza). Uh oh, I bet things will get spicy. And they do…
After arriving at the camp, owned by the enigmatic-but-never-seen father of one of the characters, the gang settles in. Half are intent on getting freaking wasted, the others are annoyed by them and intent on shooting a sweet slasher film. Also, the beginning of the film involved the hottest film class teacher of all time, Professor Watts (Cherish McCormick), being filmed while getting abdomen-stabbed to death (AKA ab-stab) with a knife… so things are definitely going to get spicy. As you may have guessed, “someone” is going to continue this trend, and it doesn’t help that the gang steals a mask off of a scarecrow on their way to the cabins. A very creepy mask.
Right now, I’m going to talk about pizza for a bit. Stay with me, here; this will come full circle and more than likely make sense. Hopefully.
Whenever you order Domino’s pizza, you know what you’re going to get. The pizza chain practically deserves 2.5/5 stars and, as a customer, if you were to expect anything more, you’d be in the wrong. You order Dominos when your pizza quality craving is a “meh” out of 10, or your sobriety (or lack thereof) is making the decision. In the pizza-to-horror-film crossover analogy that’s playing out right now, GetAWAY is the local pizza joint which still manages to be similar, if not less, in quality to Dominos. You want it to be better. You’ll give it a shot in hopes it might be your new favorite pizza jam; it’s the local place, you’re supporting your community, it’s awesome. Except when it’s not. You want to go to the owner of GetAWAY Pizza Joint and ask them “Why? Why not aim just a bit higher? Why not use locally-sourced ingredients, so, even as the restaurant, you’re still supporting other local businesses? Why not go a little more on the house-made spice medley? You’re doing something good with the crust; why not lean into that process a bit more?”
In turn, this indeed translates to the overview of GetAWAY: it’s something we’ve all seen before, it checks all the low-budget slasher film boxes, but we still want to hope it aims a bit higher. The effort and competence is there, and it would be nice to see writer/director Blayne Weaver try to maximize their talents and do something a bit more original; a bit more to stand out from the crowd. Though GetAWAY, in practice, is something we’ve all seen before and know what to expect—we almost expect it to be subpar—it doesn’t lean in to the cheesy (pun!!! Like the pizza analogy?) aspects enough to be silly or the horror aspects enough to be gory fun.
GetAWAY comes to VOD from Gravitas Ventures on December 22nd.
By Zach Gorecki