In the past, I’ve explained that I go through phases with my horror viewing. There will be months where I’ll watch nothing but werewolf flicks or a long stretch where it’s all found footage films. Currently, I seem to be diving deeper into another of my slasher episodes. After my viewing of Troy Escamilla’s latest feature, a few days ago, I thought it only fitting to watch his first film, Party Night.
A group of friends decide to ditch the rest of their senior class and hold their own private after-prom celebration. It’ll be one last hooray before they all embark on the next chapter in their lives — college. Now, secluded and miles away from any neighbors, the friends have become the perfect target for a masked killer hellbent on ruining their special night.
Party Night is another entry in the 80’s throwback slasher sub-genre. Like most independent productions, the budget for this project is extremely limited. Because of this, writer/director Troy Escamilla was faced with the typical obstacles any filmmaker in his position would be; There are some scenes where the sound design wasn’t optimal, the lighting wasn’t the best, and the camera could have used some sort of steadying assist, but honestly, these types of things are to be expected. I can say that all of these things have been improved upon greatly in Escamilla’s second movie. I can only imagine what he will be able to churn out next, as it seems he is always improving in one fashion or another.
Even with these limitations, the team behind Party Night managed to create a pretty fun little movie. Acting not only as writer and director, Escamilla was also in charge of casting. This young filmmaker has a knack for picking some of the best talent available. This is the second film of his that I’ve watched and for the second time, I am beyond impressed with the group of actors he has chosen.
While there are a few faces I recognize from Escamilla’s sophomore effort, there are quite a few new faces, as well. The entire cast, albeit tiny, does a wonderful job at portraying their characters in a natural and convincing way. I really felt like I was watching a group of friends just hanging out and having a good time together. The characters are all fleshed out and aren’t one dimensional. This goes a very long way, as it gives more depth to your typical slash ’em up flicks.
While we never truly learn the motivation behind the slaughter of these teens, it doesn’t really matter in the end. I could have done without the killer wearing what seemed like an ordinary, every day track jacket, but otherwise, I felt the antagonist’s design was effective.
Party Night features a modest bodycount, but all of our victims meet their demise using practical special effects. Striking the very last kill scene from the record book, all of the kills are impressive and quite effective for a slasher flick.
Clocking in at only 70 minutes, Party Night is a fun little horror experience. If you’re a fan of slasher films that don’t require too much thought, you’ll have a good time with this one. It’s nothing serious and can be enjoyed by you and a bunch of friends on a Saturday night very easily.
Be sure to grab a copy of the film, which is available now on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.
I give this one 3.5 frying pan stomps out of 5.