‘Pitchfork’ Brings Some Good to the Table but the Bad Snaps it in Two (Review)
Directed by: Glenn Douglas Packard
Cast: Daniel Wilkinson, Brian Raetz, Lindsey Nicole
Glenn Douglas Packard’s bid to create a new iconic horror villain – that’s exactly what Pitchfork feels like it is – falls a bit flat. Pitchfork doesn’t offer much in the way of story, and the real selling point does indeed seem to be the titular villain. But, you’re not going to make a villain memorable if you can’t make his victims even more so. We become invested in villains because they affect us when they slaughter someone we’re cheering for. But there’s no one to cheer for in the film, and there’s no comedic quips from old Pitchfork, to help sway our opinions, either.
What this is – I’m trimming it down quite a bit, as the film is just a bit too generic to warrant much time or promotion – is a group of youngsters finding themselves in a remote location being stalked and offed in systematic fashion by a masked killer with a modified stub, a la Ashley Williams. The movie is predictable, the characters are predictable and the villain is predictable.
There’s no one who really steps up and outshines the others in the ensemble, instead we’ve got a group of mediocre performers still green enough to be looking for their footing in this business. You can’t expect much from a bunch like that. And we don’t get much from them either, so… well, that’s that.
Pitchfork looks kind of cool, and he could probably be related to that little booger in Cub with his facial accessory, but that’s about the extent of the positives in regards to the general appearance of the killer.
But it isn’t just the killer that makes for a hang-up, this is just a mediocre affair. It was probably a project a few friends wanted to put together for a good time, and did. If that’s the case, good for them – they set out to accomplish something and they succeeded. It certainly isn’t a piece of artwork out to make any societal statements, examine moral dilemmas or deliver any significant life lessons. So, if the motive behind the film was deeper than buddies having a good time, it may be a wise idea to go back to the drawing board and first look to come up with an idea that hasn’t been used about nine million times.
Now, before I seal this one up on an entirely sour note, I think it’s important to highlight the fact that the cinematography is actually quite sound. Visually the film looks pretty good, and thanks to some polished editing maneuvers the transitions are, for the most part smooth, which does aid the film in moving at a speedy clip. There is definitely some talent involved here, it’s just that the problem with the film is a blatant lack of ingenuity. A bit of creativeness could have elevated the film on an exponential level.
When all is said and done, if you’re contemplating giving this one a look, I’ll say this: If you’ve got some beers handy and you’re looking for a brainless slasher with a couple slick shots, go ahead and look into Pitchfork. If you’re hoping for that rare, elevated and sublime sub-genre effort, you’ll be terribly disappointed.
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