Pitchfork (2017)

I can’t help but appreciate the inherent ambition behind the production of “Pitchfork.” Director and Writer Glenn Douglas Packard delivers a slasher film that offers the classic tropes, while also feeling like something completely different. He also manages to concoct a premise that’s actually original and doesn’t feature the same old idiot teenagers looking to party who get stranded or whatnot. He actually sets out to deliver a unique premise, and gives our characters their own motivations. It’s also not often we get slasher movies with final boys, but “Pitchfork” creates one who is not only genuinely heroic, and selfless, but facing his own dilemma when we meet him.

Hunter is a young man who just came out of the closet and travels to a farm in Michigan to reunite with his family. Bringing along his group of devoted friends, he’s ready for just about anything, and is terrified he’s going to be cast out by his conservative mom and dad. His friends all have their own plans as director-writer Glenn Douglas Packard allows the various characters their own sub-plots. Shocking enough he’s able to balance out some interesting drama here and there, with some back story about affairs, love triangles and the like. It’s all fairly entertaining and surprisingly engrossing thanks to the strong cast who turn in solid performances collectively. As Hunter begins trying to get his family accommodated to his sexuality, a serial killer begins wreaking havoc on the farm.

Armed with a pitchfork, and donning a mask made out of dog skin, the murderer begins stalking and brutally murdering everyone and anyone he crosses paths with. The slasher named “Pitchfork” is a crafty and relentless monster who just about maneuvers his way around everyone in the movie and gradually begins stacking up his victims. “Pitchfork” is well paced and very well edited; I also really liked how every character in the movie has their own flaws, but also manage to reveal something human about themselves. Even Pitchfork, once we’re allowed an insight in to his life, turns out to be a monster that we never expected to experience in a slasher movie. The one caveat to “Pitchfork” is some scenes felt a lot like Douglas Packard was padding the run time.

There are two or three scenes that either go on too long, or have nothing going on. I have to say I was also not a big fan of the final scene, as it left me confused and felt like a botched attempt at breaking the fourth wall. That said, “Pitchfork” is a very good indie slasher with sharp tension, very good writing, a lot of gorgeous women (He-llo Celina Beach!), and a stand out performance by Brian Raetz. If you’re in the market for a different kind of splatter slasher flick, “Pitchfork” brings the goods.

Now Available on Video On Demand.