E1 Entertainment // 2009 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 16th, 2010
Prepare yourself for the rites.
E1 and Here! team up to completely obliterate your valuable time with this awful horror film.
The newest group of pledges from the Gamma Kappa fraternity arrived at a cabin in the middle of nowhere to take part in their mandatory initiation, which, for some reason, requires them to spend every waking moment in their underwear (wouldn't the point of having them run around half-naked be to embarrass them in front of other people and not squirrels?).
Little do they know, a crazed, masked lumberjack is ready to get his murder on, stalking and killing whomever he runs into in the woods one by one with his tiny axe. Eventually there's one guy left and he is absolutely defiant about remaining in his underwear.
This is quite the debacle, a ridiculous outing from start to finish and frankly shocking in its incompetence, seeing as we've been operating off of proven game-plans for slashers-on-the-loose horror flicks for over 30 years. Really, with such a wide genre catalog to look at and even crib from, how do the brains behind Initiation manage to produce such a moronic misadventure?
Here's how the film rolls out: the two frat leaders sit down and exchange lengthy strings of plot exposition, cut to the pledges doing things in their underwear like running through the woods and getting paddled, cut to the lumberjack killing a victim, cut back to the frat leaders, and so on. The formula receives a tweak toward the end, as the victims pile up and it's even more nonsensical: the lone survivor (still in his briefs) runs through the woods, cut to the lumberjack, cut to a series of flashbacks from like five minutes ago.
That's right, director David DeCoteau has so little faith in the short term memory retention of his audience that he feels compelled to rehash the same footage of dead bodies and axe swings and lumberjack glares that we had just seen minutes ago. And not just once. You'll be seeing the same multiple times, to the point where you'll get a flashback for something that happened the scene before!
As for the horror elements here, the less said the better, but I need to crap out a couple of more paragraphs so here goes. The only blood you see on screen literally is on-screen. When the lumberjack takes his axe-swipe and the victim goes down, some cheap computer-generated splatter hits the TV. Aside from a couple of stiffs with crusty red stuff dribbling down from their faces, that's it for the gore.
In conclusion, this movie exists solely for getting dudes in their underwear.
The movie is garbage and the DVD -- 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround, and a commentary that is almost impossible to hear thanks to some poor audio balancing -- is mediocre. Give these brothers a wide, wide berth.
Guilty. You have failed the initiation.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: E1 Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated