PAINTBALL MASSACRE (2020)
Directed by Darren Berry
Written by Chris Regan
Starring Katy Brand, Lee Latchford-Evans, Robert Portal, Nicholas Vince, Ian Virgo, Cheryl Burniston, Lockhart Ogilvie, Brendan Carr, Natasha Killip, Nathan Clough, Joe Hallett, Aoife Smyth, Ryan Winsley, Tony Banham, Paul Holbrook
Find out more about this film here!
A group of friends get together for a painball match after attending their class reunion. While they are looking forward to an afternoon of horsing around, catching up with long-time friends, and maybe getting some welts from paintballs. What they are not counting on is that one of their own might be the one picking them off for good one by one in the secluded and forested paintball course.
The best word I can use to describe this British slasher is standard. I’m a fan of slashers and this film delivers all of the stuff you might associate with the subgenre. It’s got a killer making his way though a woods killing people one by one in various and creative ways, though occasionally, the physics of these kills are a little weird—for example, somehow the killer stabs a sign all the way through the torso of one of his victims, despite the fact that it doesn’t have a sharp end. Still, if you’re just looking for a movie with a decently sized cast set up to be killed one by one, this one delivers.
I also liked the look of the killer, who wears armor and a helmet from head to toe and kind of looks like the Mandalorian meets Marvel’s the Taskmaster. He’s an active and forest-savvy killer as well. This isn’t a boring movie at all. The cast and killer are always on the move and the fact the cast understands that they are the prey and the game is for keeps early on makes for some fun detours from your typical slashers.
Still, the humor didn’t really land well for me and the cast is difficult to like. Both of these things are important as some of the best slasher films out there have a solid sense of humor and a cast worth investing in. The film also lacks a proper ending. It feels almost like the tape ran out and the filmmaker was like, “OK, that’s good enough.” and went on to doing something else. Sure, there’s some decent gore (though most of it comes from after the fact and happens off screen), a few thrilling scenes, and a decent body count, but the film just lacked that pop that makes it distinct from the rest of the slasher herd out there. This left me appreciating parts of PAINTBALL MASSACRE, but not loving it.