April Fool’s Day (2008)

April Fool's Day (2008)

This April Fool’s Day, Put All Jokes Aside…Because You May Be Next.

A group of very rich and very spoilt teenagers throw a party but tragedy strikes when an April Fool’s prank goes horribly wrong and a girl falls off a balcony to her death. A year later and someone is out for revenge and starts killing the friends off one-by-one. But who is it and how much do they know about what happened?

 

Long before Scream had been made, the slasher film had already been parodied to some degree in April Fool’s Day back in the 80s. The novelty of the film and it’s one trick-pony routine was that the characters were killed off one-by-one throughout the film in typical slasher manner and then it was revealed to be a big hoax at the end in a truly horrifying twist never seen since the days of Scooby Doo. It was an ok film but one that could only really be watched once as long as you didn’t know how it ended. So how do you remake a film where everyone knows the twist at the end? Even though I hated it, it’s like someone coming along and remaking The Sixth Sense and hoping everyone is shocked at the ending again. Well the answer is that you remake the film exactly the same and hope people aren’t either stupid or have seen the original because if you are not stupid or have seen the original, then you’ll know what happens from the opening scene. More importantly why would you remake a mediocre slasher film than no one had even seen in the first place? Are the studios that desperate to find new ideas?

If you’ve read some of my reviews then you can just tell that I don’t like a film from the off. I try to be as impartial as possible but sometimes my feelings just get the better of me. Why should I be this angry at watching something as bad as this? Did I really think that a second rate remake of a second rate slasher film was going to be anything other than a complete and utter turkey? From the opening scene, the film looks like one of those third rate American TV dramas like The Young and the Restless – you know the type, the ones where the characters are covered in so much make-up they are like walking cosmetics ads and where there is too much artificial light thrown into their faces to see how beautiful they look. Well that’s the vibe you get from here right off the bat. The opening scenes play out painfully slowly and it seems like an eternity before the accident happens and the girl is killed. At least she had the sense to get out of the film as early as she could do.

The film then shifts into I Know What You Did Last Summer territory where exactly one year on from the accident, the group begin to receive threatening letters. Why is it always one year on? Does it take a whole year for someone to plan out their revenge? What about six months? This is where the film falls into the clichéd traps of the modern slasher movie (yeah right, like it hadn’t already – but that’s beside the point!). But even then it still remains more of a mystery-thriller than an out-and-out slasher as the synopsis would have you believe. When they arrive, the kills are weak and bloodless. There are no overly convoluted chase scenes. Sex does not equal death here because there isn’t a sight nor sign of any nookie. I can’t even remember anyone even doing anything stupid like investigating a strange noise. They just do absolutely nothing for the running time except drive around in flash cars, argue with each other and preen and pamper themselves.

When you make a film in which the characters are all going to be subject to some form of horror, at least make them sympathetic or likeable so that we can cheer with them. Isn’t that the staple ingredient that a horror film should employ? Someone the audience can side with against the evil? The characters here are all self-serving rich bastards to put it bluntly. Not one of them has a likeable trait (well Taylor Cole has two likeable traits but that’s not to do with her personality…) and without any emotional attachment to them, the film drags on and on with you wishing they would meet their ends quickly. Their acting counterparts don’t fare any better. It’s clear that they walked into their auditions with their pretty faces and immaculate hair cuts and they were given the parts before even testing for them. They can’t act to save their lives and, funnily enough, would be more at home to something like The Young and the Reckless than trying to carve out a career in the film business.

 

April Fool’s Day is one of the most pointless remakes ever. Hardly anyone has heard of the original and hopefully even less people will hear of this. This is one April Fool where the joke is clearly played on the viewer. Avoid at all costs. Please.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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