April Fool's Day (DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Scout Taylor-Compton, Taylor Cole, Mark D. Headen, David Lowe
Directed by The Butcher Brothers
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
The original 1986 version of April Fool's Day is widely regarded as a modern horror classic and with good reason. It was a smart, witty, and at times dark little movie that kept you guessing until the finale. Yeah, it had a cheat ending, but so what? The ride getting there was nothing short of an absolute blast. When the announcement came that April Fool's Day would be next in line for the redux treatment, I was disheartened but a bit relieved that taking the director's chair(s) would be The Butcher Brothers, who, with their After Dark Horrorfest vampire opus The Hamiltons (review here), proved that they had the chops to get the job done.
For a remake to work it needs to do one thing ... stay true to the spirit of the source material while bringing something new to the table. The Butcher Brothers took a very interesting approach. As a means to bring something new to said table, they apparently decided to ditch every single thing that made the original film so good and in its place add characters you don't care about, actors who barely get the job done, and a storyline so cookie-cutter pathetic that it's nearly impossible to sit through the whole film without hitting the fast forward button.
What went wrong? Lots. Let's look at the story, such as it is.
After a prissy little dimwit is slipped a mickey during an April Fool's Day party, she ends up falling from a balcony to her death. One year later all her friends get a letter to meet at her grave. The letter tells them that if the person who's responsible for said mickey slipping doesn't fess up by the day's end, they all will die. Didn't we already see this exact kind of plot in I Know What You Did Last Summer? Why, yes, we did. Only that movie is Texas Chainsaw by comparison! So much for originality. Anyway -- one by one, our obnoxious characters are knocked off until the end, when we get not a one-twist but a two-twist ending that you can see coming from miles, and miles, and miles, and miles away.
Let's begin with the characters. We have Paris Hilton-like cardboard cut-outs of the male and female specie named Milan, Blaine, Torrance, and dare I say it, there's even one named Barbie. You just want to choke them. There's not a single likable person in the bunch so you're left with no one to relate to, root for, or even mildly care about. I don't blame the actors for this. They had very little to work with, and it's a wonder the cast didn't walk away from this stinker like rats leaving a sinking ship. Strike one.
How about the kills? So-and-so drowned in the pool. Ms. To-Do was electrocuted by a faulty wire. What's next? A lethal paper cut? There's barely a speck of blood to be found anywhere. Hell, there's not even much implied violence. Strike two.
Then there's the plot. Know what this film ends up being about? This may be a spoiler, but the whole movie is spoiled for various different reasons so who cares, right? All you gluttons for punishment can skip to the next paragraph. After an impossibly long hour and a half, it becomes apparent that this whole thing was nothing more than a not-so-elaborate scheme for a rich kid to get cash. That's it. Strike three.
It hurts. It just hurts. Then, just as I was ready to pop the movie(!) out, the real horror set in ... This was to be a DVD review! Are there extras I have to explore? A commentary? A making-of? Can I take spending another moment with this just shit-out and steaming mountainous turd? Thankfully, I was spared, and I don't think I've ever been more grateful for a bare-bones release.
Let me be clear ... there's nothing to see here, nothing to enjoy here, and no reason to ever even think about sitting through this pointless, insipid, worthless reimagining. It makes horrid rehash cash-ins like The Hitcher, The Fog, and When a Stranger Calls seem Oscar worthy. In the end the level of bad this drivel reaches transcends even the stigma of the remake. Every second was painful. Every minute was infuriating. This is nothing short of an epic failure on all levels.
Don't get fooled again.
0 out of 5
0 out of 5
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