Joey (modern scream queen Jamie Bernadette, who co-wrote and produced the feature as well) and her gaggle of gal pals get together for a lil’ soiree; but things go to shit when Tyler (David Villada) arrives with his drugs…a skull mask, a demonic pizza boy, and bloodshed ensue…as is always the way isn’t my creeps? Memories of the night are sketchy, but are they really so sketchy that you’d get together with these ladies again a few years later in a secluded location (the bog standard cabin in the woods) and party hardy once more…or at least try to move on with their lives?
This being a fright flick, we all know damn well the answer is a resounding “Yes”. We may also predict that things are going to go south quicker than a truck stop hooker…but that isn’t entirely the case (more on that below), but eventually the friends begin to see ol’ skull faced Tyler (or is it?) and the murder biz begins in earnest. Who will get out of those woods alive, and just who is attacking our comely heroines?
Bernadette (along with Co-writer/Director Letia Clouston) do little to re-invent the wheel with The 6th Friend; the “friends with a dark past visit a cabin in the woods and get sliced and diced while dealing with their demons” is a well worn conceit in the horror biz, and this film does little to shake up that hoary ol’ chestnut. The mystery presented is engaging enough (as is the cast with Bernadette turning in her normal solid performance, and a strong turn from Dominique Swain as well), if a bit easy for the audience to piece together, and the kills can be fun…when we get to them…
The 6th Friend certainly loves it’s dialog. Our protagonists chew the fat for what seems like ages before any sort of meaningful ghoulish goods are delivered. We are talking nearly thirty five minutes out of an hour and twenty five minute runtime before the suspense even begins to build (to be fair, once it does it ramps quite well)…and that amount of slow burn can be hard to endure for those wanting non-stop stalk n’ slay spills and chills.
Bottom line, Bernadette and Clouston deliver a serviceable if slow paced slasher with The 6th Friend (and having more female voices in our beloved horror biz is always a welcome thing)…but I hope if they do more they don’t hesitate to take things in a more unique direction!
For more on Jamie Bernadette be sure to check out our interview with her right here!