April Fool's Day

April Fool's Day ★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Forget videos of bacon frying or chickens roasting. In 2015, Netflix pulled the ultimate April Fool's Day prank on its customers by removing April Fool's Day from streaming the day BEFORE April Fool's Day. What a dick move!

Upon revisiting it, this lightweight pseudo-slasher from the director of When a Stranger Calls was not as fun as I remember from seeing it in high school. Sure, the "surprise" ending was ruined by my previous watch, but the movie's fucking title is a spoiler. However it happens, knowing that nobody's really getting killed completely removes the stakes - and the tension - from the slasher setup. In fact, I kept hoping I misremembered the finale, but, nope. This is simply a movie about a rich girl who invites her friends over for a weekend of mirthful intrigue. Those friends, people with names like Skip and Kit and Chaz, happen to be the sort of shitty young people you can't wait to see hacked up in an '80s slasher flick. The jack-in-the-box bits at the beginning and end feel like they were spliced in from any contemporaneous Canadian slasher, and the casting of Friday the 13th Part 2's Amy Steel as the ostensible Final Girl might have been an in-joke, but Cabin in the Woods this is not. Instead of cleverly inverting horror tropes, April Fool's Day offers us Biff Tannen continually making homoerotic comments in a mock-gay voice and Waxwork's Deborah Foreman in a fake dual role. Executed fairly painlessly, it never really slows down enough to become boring, but after two separate endings that insist, "no, no, everything's actually OK," a horror fan can't help but feel a little cheated.

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