Requiem for a Scream opens with a man and woman tied to chairs with barbed wire while a masked figure (Michael X. Sommers, Sense 8, The Matrix Resurrections) tries to get Harper (Taylor Kalupa, I’m Not Ashamed, The Valley) to hit a particular note. When she can’t he kills them both.
From there we watch Artemis (Cassandra Scerbo, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, Agoraphobia) and Shira (Georgia Leva, The Zeroes 2, Turnt) arrive and start cleaning up the summer house they’re throwing a party in while a generic pop song plays. While they don’t see the RV and its masked occupant parked nearby, they do find an encrypted SD card on the floor and a bear trap on the hiking trail.
Director Ben Meyerson (My Escort Best Friend, Deadly Daughter Switch) and writers Andre Puca (KWAK or Kassandra with a K) and Jordan Robinson (Dangerous Snow Day, Revenge Delivered) certainly got my hopes up by incorporating some elements that are reminiscent of a Giallo into Requiem for a Scream’s opening act.
The killer’s mask resembles the one from Sergio Martino’s Torso and his motive, creating a symphony of human screams, sounds like it came from a Giallo. And Artemis, who just happens to have been trained as an opera singer, is also there to scatter her more successful sister’s ashes on the estate she loved against her father’s wishes.
They also throw in domestic drama in the form of Thomas (David Lewis, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Child’s Play), her pushy stage father, and the usual unlikely group of friends including Will (Daniel Covin, Smiley Face Killers, The Bay) and Alex (India McGee, Bolden, American Soul) who haven’t seen each other since high school but still hold old grudges and crushes.
For a Tubi Original, Requiem for a Scream gets off to a strong start with a surprisingly graphic throat slashing done with practical effects and that’s not the last of the gore we get either. People are not just stabbed and disemboweled, there’s even some criminal misuse of a nail gun. It’s not quite in Art the Clown’s league, although one death certainly seems inspired by him, but for a low-budget film aimed at mainstream audiences, it is surprisingly bloody stuff.
On the other side of the coin, Requiem for a Scream suffers from some extremely generic characters, even for this kind of film. Several are nothing more than basic stereotypes there to pump up the body count. That makes the attempts to play on emotions in the film’s final minutes seem more superficial and cynical than genuine. But considering how many Lifetime movies the cast, crew, and production company Cartel Films, has been involved with the fact it only has a few minutes of faux sentimentality is a surprising plus.
Being a Tubi Original I really wasn’t expecting much at all when I sat down to watch Requiem for a Scream, and if you’ve read my reviews, or seen the likes of Tow, Shark Side of the Moon, or Lord of the Streets then you know why. But, as recent slashers go it’s actually quite good. It delivers on the bloody kills and the plot brings enough Giallo elements to make it more interesting than a lot of similar films.
I do wish that cinematographer Lars Lindstrom had been able to give Requiem for a Scream some of that genre’s visual style as well. He brought some nice flair to Mad Genius before he made a career out of cranking out the likes of Psycho Party Planner and Lethal Love Letter but he settles for giving the film an acceptable if generic look. And to be fair that’s probably all the budget and schedule allowed.
If you’re looking for a solid bit of slash and stalk to liven up a weekend watch party, Requiem for a Scream is a solid choice. And since it’s a Tubi Original, it’s free which makes it an even better deal. Requiem for a Scream is available to stream on Tubi wherever it’s available. Those of you living elsewhere will have to watch for it to appear on local platforms. While you wait, FilmTagger can offer some suggestions for similar films to watch.