SALEM HORROR FEST 2021: Wicked Games (2021)

When Harley joins her boyfriend for a long Halloween weekend at his family’s country estate, their romantic weekend is upended by a gang of masked freaks. But the intruders are shocked when Harley is no pushover; she has a history of violence that is going to make the games they’re playing that much more interesting.

Director and writer Teddy Grennan also made the movie Ravage. Here, he’s playing on a riff of You’re NextThe Strangers and A Bay of Blood, particularly the way the ending pays off. There’s plenty of blood in this one, as well as moments of great home invasion tenseness.

There’s some really nice cinematography on display in this film; it looks way better than a streaming or direct to WalMart feature. My only major issue with the film is its use of masks, which are either very Spirit store or actual luchador masks. It doesn’t take much production design to create unique looks for your killers. Seeing home invaders wandering around wearing Mistico and Rey Mysterio Jr. masks takes the viewer out of the movie, as these are beyond iconic masks; imagine if someone was walking around with John Cena’s face in a slasher film. You’d instantly stop thinking of the stalk and slash moments and keep thinking, why is John Cena’s face on display? The masks of luchadors are the very same and beyond; they are their soul and identity and their use in this film is beyond cheap. It’s lazy at best and disrespectful as well.

You can learn more about Wicked Games at the official site.

Wicked Games is now playing Salem Horror Fest as part of the Showcase of Massachusetts Filmmakers series. When we have streaming info, we’ll share it in this post. For now, you can follow that link to buy a festival badge and check out several other films during October. You can learn more at the Facebook page and official site for the movie.

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