We’ve had plenty of movies about making movies. From Effects to Wes Craven’s New Nightmare to One Cut of the Dead there are plenty of them. Writer/director Blayne Weaver’s (Cut to the Chase, Santa Girl) film GetAWAY, (not to be confused with Getaway), has managed to find a way to up the meta stakes.
It’s a slasher film about students from a college communications department shooting a slasher film. The difference is, it was shot mostly using cast and crew recruited from Shenandoah University’s film and theatre programs. Which is one way to avoid having a film full of students who look like they’re ready to collect social security.
Maddie (Emma Norville) just got dumped by Noah (Joshua Cody). Her best friend Harlowe (Franchesca Contreras) convinces her that the perfect way to get over it is to come along for the shooting of Tabitha’s (Abigail Haggerty) film this weekend. Unfortunately, it turns out that not only Noah but his new GF Kayla (Danielle Carrozza) are working on it as well. What none of them know is that this won’t be the only film being shot this weekend. Someone else is making a horror film, but the deaths will be for real.
GetAWAY follows the basic Friday the 13th formula and drops its cast in an isolated, (as in no cell coverage), summer camp complete with a creepy caretaker and weird neighbours. The killer even wears a Friday the 13th Part 2 style mask, one I liked better than the hockey mask.
The making a film aspect of GetAWAY is used as an excuse to get them out there, and then pretty much dropped. Every so often we get Tabitha having a fit because props are missing, someone has gone missing or the shoot, in general, turning into a clusterfuck, but that’s about it. Mostly it’s people wandering around, making out, and dying.
The dying part of it is handled pretty well. The film isn’t overly gory, but there are plenty of deaths, and the effects we do get are well done and practical. And that, in a genre with too many dry kills and too much CGI gore is always welcome.
The script of GetAWAY had sat in the director’s desk for ten plus years until a project fell through and he needed something to shoot fast. While the dialogue was updated the rest of the script seems to have been left unchanged. That would explain why it’s free of most of the recent genre trends and feels more like an older film.
And while it can’t measure up to the Ft13 franchise at its best, or the likes of The Burning or The Prowler for that matter, GetAWAY is still a respectable entry in the genre. One that certainly wouldn’t have been out of place at the mall multiplex back in the day. There’s a big enough cast to keep the bodies dropping at a reasonable pace.
And enough jumps and surprises as the killer pops out of nowhere to drop them. Speaking of the killer, this is one time I didn’t guess their identity. At one point, I even wondered if it wasn’t the scarecrow they decapitated to get the mask out for revenge. The final reveals are where GetAWAY does show some imagination and it pays off nicely.
The result is a film that’s fun to watch even if it is a bit predictable at points. And while I wish it had done more with the making a movie part of the plot, it still handles it better than the likes of Sleepaway Slasher and Incredible Violence.