It’s always interesting to see icons in the horror genre turn their experience from in front of the camera to creating their own films. Danielle Harris is easily one of the most iconic horror actresses working today appearing in everything from Halloween 4 & 5, as well as the Rob Zombie remakes Adam Green’s Hatchet 2 & 3 and so many more. Now she is stepping behind the camera to direct with her latest film Among Friends, but does she deliver the same skill as a director as she does with the acting?
Among Friends follows a group of friends that come to an 80s themed dinner party that turns into a night of torture, terror, and truth as one of them sets out to unleash the secrets that they all share whether they want to or not. While this isn’t a scary horror film, it does sport some twisted situations and gore in a simplistic backdrop that is a lot of fun. Harris clearly knows how this genre works from her years of experience and builds up the tension along with the needed twists and turns to deliver something original to the genre. At first the acting and feel of the movie seems to be average at best, but as it begins to head into the meat of the film it steps things up and every unleashes their inner victim and give some fun performances. The structure of the story plays like a mystery as well keeping you guessing to why this is all happening in the first place all the way to the end with some fun twists and turns that work really well. It’s never overly gory, but the practical effects work perfectly injecting just enough of the bloody fun that fans want. One of the more entertaining and clever moments of the film comes from a drug induced trip taking you out of the film and behind the scenes with a brilliant cameo from Harris herself that will make any horror fan smile.
Harris has done a great job with this simple yet complex torture horror film and has taken a great step in a new direction of her career. This film works great as is, but with some Jennifer Blanc leading the charge and fun cameos from Michael Biehn, and Kane Hodder it just makes for an overall great time. While fans obviously don’t want Harris to leave the front of the camera we are all looking forward to what else she brings to life as a director as well.