SERENA WAITS *** USA 2018 Dir: Hunter Johnson. 80 mins
Serena (Brialynn Massie) makes possibly one of her worst decisions ever and leaves a party to walk home on her own when she is very, very drunk. She meets two pumped up meat head frat boys and allows them to take her back to their place. Things go sideways quickly for Serena as main jock Jack (Colton Wheeler) rapes her whilst Miles (David Wesley Marlowe) films them. As soon as she realises what is happening Serena tries to defend herself and ends up getting beaten. Calling in their more sensible friend Scott (Charles Chudabala) to help move her they dump her by some bins leaving her for dead. Fast forward a few months and the three guys have moved on, although still plagued by guilt Scott and Miles admit to each other they are having waking nightmares of scratching at their windows and figures wrapped in bloodied blankets appearing. Miles and Jack invite themselves over to Scotts housewarming with their respective new girlfriends and as the night unfolds they discover the real reason the girls want them as Serena has waited long enough for her revenge.
This is Hunter Johnson’s version of a revenge movie where the punishment way out weighs the crime. Not that I mind the violent turn of events that befall the guys in this but wow, these ladies are unrelenting and mega pissed!! Serving up their sweet revenge by driving the accused nuts with guilt and paranoia and then absolutely going to town on them leaving only one barely alive to tell the tale. Its just a shame the acting lets this down so much. In its defense it might not be the acting so much as the characters. All the male characters are massive jerks and wholly unlikeable with lines like “Limp Bizkit are underrated” and other gems only increase our dislike for them but I found it a nice touch. Chudabala’s character was the most infuriating as he comes across as incredibly pathetic as well as being a jerk. It is well written though some bits are quite confused when it comes to explaining things. The abduction and subsequent rape is uncomfortable to watch which makes Serena and the other ladies violent acts all the better to watch. With these hard to watch moments there is not much in the way of gore or graphic detail with a lot happening just off camera which in this movie is really effective as you get the picture and still wince in all the right places without having everything spelt out for you. They have a dubious choice of props at times though. Serena is shown wrapped in a blood stained blanket which, in moderation, is creepy enough but they decided to add another element to her costume which is a Freddy Krueger style glove only with what looks like fondue forks on it instead of knives which really took the threat and fear of it out for me. The score and soundtrack was effective. This definitely has its flaws but once you get past the questionable acting and a couple of other dodgy bits it is a pretty good movie.
Review by Sarah Budd