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Review: Serena Waits (2018)

Terror Films just released Hunter Johnson’s Irrational Fear a couple of weeks ago. It must have done well for them because they’re back with another of his films, the revenge horror film Serena Waits.

Serena (Brialynn Massie, Human Zoo, Must Love Horror) is at a party and getting drunk. A friend tries to prevent problems by letting her crash at their place. Unfortunately, on the way there she runs into Jack (Colton Wheeler, Gore Theater, Lilith) and Miles (David Marlowe, For Jennifer). She ends up raped and murdered. With the reluctant help of their buddy Scott (Charles Chudabala, Ugly Sweater Party, Paranormal Attraction) they dispose of the body.

Months later, it seems like they’ve gotten away with it. However, vengeance, like Serena, waits for them.

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Serena Waits opens with a prologue that sets that’s initially confusing, but will eventually make sense. From there, it pretty much skips over any real introduction of the characters and gets into the meat of the story. The attack isn’t as graphic as they are in a lot of films of this type, but it’s still uncomfortable enough to be effective.

The film then skips ahead to the fall and somewhat rolls its second and third acts into one extended set piece. And it works quite well, as a conversation between two of the attackers morphs into an impromptu birthday party. It’s during that a series of odd events and rising tempers lead to everything hitting the fan.

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The climax, like the opening, is effective without being overly graphic. Seeing a guy repeatedly get a baseball bat to the crotch hurts even without Revenge style gore. Overall it’s mostly satisfying, if a bit improbable. I say mostly because I think Serena Waits concentrates on the wrong character when it comes to dealing out payback.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that any of them deserved to escape punishment. But Jack is by far the scummiest of the three, He’s somebody you would want to see suffer even if he wasn’t an unrepentant rapist. The focus should have been on his punishment. Instead, it’s on the one of the three who is actually troubled by what he did.

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For a film made with a small cast and a couple of locations, Serena Waits does quite well. It’s certainly worth a watch, especially as it will be free with ads on release.

Terror Films will premiere it on the Kings Of Horror YouTube channel on August 14th at 2 PM PST. The premiere will also include a live stream with Hunter Johnson and Charles Chudabala. It will be available exclusively on Kings of Horror for six weeks, followed by a wider release on September 25th.

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