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Black Friday (2021)

'Black Friday' is a 2021 horror comedy from writer Andy Greskovia and directed by Casey Tebo, with horror icon Bruce Campbell serving as a producer and taking on a key role in the movie. As with a lot of these newer released Christmas movies, by the time I get around to them, the Christmas season has already been and gone and it no longer feels appropriate to watch them once the season has passed. This year I figured I would start out with something that has been on my watch list for some time.

The plot centers around a manic evening in an American super store on back Friday as some form of otherworldly entity being slowly turning the the stores customers into parasitic zombies. Although being very simplistic in nature, it bodes well for the purposes of this movie. With just a mere 124 minute run time, 'Black Friday' wastes very like time with set up and exposition before diving straight into the chaos, an approach that works wonders for this movies pacing. I can ready appreciate a movie that know exactly what it is, and the purpose it's serving.

One rather unusual element of 'Black Friday' comes from the use of its casting and its characters. And whilst everyone involved does a great job with their roles, given the low budget horror comedy tone, there doesn't seem to be any one central character. Everyone seems to have an equal share of screen time and character development, making it difficult to focus our attention to any one final protagonist. This is something I struggled to adjust to at first, but once I settled in to it, it certainly made my curiosity and investment peak as the heightened situation intensified. Having key players such as Devon Sawa and Michael Jai White at the forefront of your movie, and as an audience us feel like they are not our primary focus, was a unique take to have.

As for the make up and effects, it's clear there was an instance on keeping every practical. And although in places it looking rather cheap and the closing act felling more like an episode of 'Mighty Morphing Power Rangers' from back in the day, I would still much prefer that over CGI any day. With Bruce Campbell being a produce its not hard to see the influence his prior movies have had on the overall aesthetic of the zombies themselves, looking very much like something from an 'Evil Dead' movie, both in design and execution. Even with the use of Campbell as an actor here and the role he plays, it would be quite easy for you to make the spiritual transition to consider this Ash Williams' Evil Dead 4 movie.

Overall, 'Black Friday' isn't something I would necessarily categorise as a great movie or even a movie I would likely rewatch again in the future. However, the time I did spend watching it, I had a really fun time. It's a simplistic horror romp with enjoyable performances, standout practical effects and some genuine moments of laugh out loud comedy. It's something I would certainly recommend, but go in with low expectations and you are likely to have an entertaining hour and a half with it.



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