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Review The Initiation (1984): An underrated slasher / mystery

genre: horror, slasher, thriller

This poster gives the wrong idea what the film is about. 


The Initiation looked like it was going to be your typical Eighties slasher with the typical scares and cheesiness. Somehow I felt like that sort of thing and that is why I was thoroughly surprised to find out that The Initiation is not typical and not cheesy at all. It truly tried to make every minute worth your while where nothing is what it seemed. The Initiation is a good example of how to use red herrings and tricks to mislead the audience. Now that does not mean that the outcome can't be predicted. If you are a horror fan like me then it will be very easy to cross out some of the suspects but still I could not be entirely sure who the killer was. I simply love it when a film leaves you guessing until the very end. Granted that at one point it became clear I have seen too many weird and bizarre horror movies because the theories I came up with were far more sinister than the solution The Initiation gave us. And I was therefore very happy to see that the film stayed close to more logical answers. The whole cast do a good job of keeping things serious and for once I did not dislike a single character or at least not that much. It made me care enough about them to feel bad for them when something happened to them. The buildup of tension and suspense is marvelous although might be considered a little slow at times. However it is this slowness that makes the events more devastating. It never felt like the film was going over the top even if some events are highly unlikely. It easily could have gone crazy but then the experience would have been entirely different. So very wisely this was avoided. (And I think this must have been the reason The Initiation did not get the attention it deserved since at the time people were more into the more gory ones.)

The Initiation is the kind of slasher I love. It is very similar to giallo's where the focus is on the mystery instead of the kills. In my opinion The Initiation is very underrated and one I can recommend wholeheartedly. 


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