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The 6th Friend

In theaters January 11, 2019


85 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , , , ,

Whenever I see a movie description containing multiple friends, an isolated location, and a serial killer, I generally scroll past. The genre has a glut of them, and few make any bring anything new to the screen. The 6th Friend (2016/ 2019) feels rehashed, and the unlikeable cast of characters ensures the minimal of personal investment on the part of the viewer.

A college graduation party ends in a lot of blood and trauma and 5 years later it’s time to reopen old wounds and mock those still suffering at a girls’ weekend retreat full of booze and snark. Joey (Jamie Bernadette) still suffers the emotional trauma from that night and is wholly uninterested in participating, but she’s essentially kidnapped and lacking transportation and, I dunno, effort, she stays. Mel (Chantelle Albers) the sometime-actress and resident drama queen;Becca (Monique Rosario) the token POC – but she’s like athletic or something; Sahara (Tania Nolan) is notable because she’s from Down Undah; Heather (Dominique Swain) finds humor in everything inappropriate, and Kate (Jessica Morris) who also still has significant trauma, and still manages to fade into the scenery because I can’t remember a thing about her.

That’s 6 main characters who all need screen time (because actresses) and lines and that’s why this movie literally takes forever to get to the point. They’re all largely unlikeable.

So they hold Joey hostage (with drinks, yay!) and force her to reminisce about THAT NIGHT because hey, it’s fun to talk about things that make you uncomfortable and a little sick. This isn’t girl power – this is toxic friendship. Frankly, if these were my “best” friends, I’d move and change my number. This is the most dismissive group of “friends” who give not a whit about boundaries, recovery and I would have happily watched a 2-minute movie where they were dropped down a deep well.
Then a masked killer WHO LOOKS LIKE THAT GUY FROM THAT NIGHT shows up and slooooooooooooowly they’re picked off one by one. Like, you could have packed your things and walked far enough to get a cell phone signal and call for help, slowly. If you can’t figure out how it’s going to end by the 45-minute mark, it’s because you stopped caring. “Why don’t you just…” enters your mind more than it should, and you even stop asking that. When the movie finally gets down to business, it barely tiptoes around the edges. There’s no meat to this movie.

Filmmakers – don’t let your horror movie get 30 minutes in before something happens.

Filmmakers – when you finally get around to something happening, make it worth the wait.

Filmmakers – don’t make your characters so unlikable no one cares what happens to them.

Filmmakers – just because you’ve been in a few horror movies, doesn’t mean you know how one works (there, someone had to say it).

This one just doesn’t work, and despite what some previews and reviews and blurbs are saying there’s nothing supernatural or paranormal about it. It’s a slasher-in-the-woods story and we’ve seen it done better by people not afraid to really scare you.

The 6th Friend is not rated, but I’d give it a PG-13 for blood, screaming, stabbing, slashing, drug use, booze, swears, and 85 of the longest minutes with a minimal payoff you’ll ever endure.

The 6th Friend is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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