Black Friday

Black Friday ★★★

Black Friday is a surprisingly engaging and liberally gory B-movie. This is a film that thrives off of its tight location and focused antics.

It’s full of very impressive VFX, especially given the tight budget, unlike a lot a lot of similar films the camera takes pride in the effects and quick cuts are minimal. The creatures are effectively scary and threatening. The stunts are decent, some of editing struggles to cover
the action but it’s generally believable. When the film is being a simple genre piece it’s very engaging and a lot of fun. However there are some points in the film in which the story loses itself. I wasn’t hugely into the execution of the existential crisis that you’d expect these characters to go through, it felt forced and underwritten. The characterisation is mostly very conventional and bland, however the characters are interesting and unique enough to care for them despite some of them being walking tropes. The film goes overboard in the last act, it’s still a lot of fun and the payoff is satisfying but it does lose itself in scope. 

Some of the writing is weak, the recurring joke of “Green Friday” isn’t very funny but thankfully the film adopts a more mainstream but safe style of humour. The performances are very good, Devon Sawa’s character was jumbled and badly written but he was a compelling screen presence, I really enjoy his style when he’s in a film that’s actually watchable. Michael Jai White isn’t in the film anywhere near enough, it felt like he might have been on set for about a day before moving onto his next B-movie project. Ryan Lee was great, as was Ivana Baquero who I only recognised half way through the film, she’s very compelling and she found chemistry with everyone. I hope Baquero gets more roles because she really worked well here. The film’s
holiday gimmick is fairly underwhelming but as a concise 80 minute genre film Black Friday is fairly effective and a lot of fun. 

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