“Bloody Homecoming,” which releases to DVD on Sept. 24, starts off as a typical slasher and stays that way for most of its 85-minute runtime. But it’s in the last 15 minutes where the big reveal comes in, and the viewer is caught completely off guard. Now, if the rest of the film had been as clever as the climax, this review might be a little more positive.
Three years after a tragic incident left one student dead, a school is looking to restart its homecoming ceremonies. Those who were freshman when the incident occurred are now seniors, and those who were with the kid when the incident happened receive a letter written in blood that says, “Happy homecoming.” One by one, an unknown individual in a firefighter costume kills off the seniors. Could this be the dead student seeking revenge, or could it be someone else?
There is really no explanation as to why the high school waited three whole years to restart the homecoming ceremony – other than to give way to the movie’s outline of making the freshman into seniors. Yes, it was a tragic accident, but there are some schools that cancel all homecoming events until the next year and then pay tribute to the student who passed in the years following.
After the first 30 minutes, it almost seems too obvious as to who will be the killer. There are some indications in the beginning, where we see the costume hanging in the janitor’s closet, and we see the father of the dead teen upset at the principal and blaming those who were with him when he died. But director Brian C. Weed doesn’t make it that easy for the viewers.
Weed also takes the smart route by using practical effects for the kills, instead of CGI. This makes the death scenes look real and is a nice little tribute to the way horror films were done back in the day.
It’s a bit painful to sit through “Bloody Homecoming” when all of the actors are offering cringe-inducing performances. It’s not like any dead teen horror film has great acting in the first place, but getting through “Bloody Homecoming” is a chore.
The one actor who is kind of one-note but appears at the right moments in the film is Jim Tavare as the school janitor, Fred. The students are always scared of him, and he just mumbles his frustration about how the kids are always making a mess.
There’s one part where the story mentions that the starting quarterback for the school’s football team is repeating his senior year. Of course, he couldn’t keep his grades up, so the coach didn’t put him in the homecoming game. But the question surrounding this reviewer’s head was: How can he still play football if he’s a repeating senior? His age is never given, but one would assume he has to be 19, which violates the regulations for players. He must have been 17 when he was a senior the first time around.