The upcoming LA Film Fest is already loaded with an exciting variety of titles. Writer and director Dallas Jackson’s latest, Thriller, is just one of them and the latest trailer in its wake does a fine job of arousing the filmic horror senses ahead of its Nightfall section premiere.
Backed in part by Blumhouse and executive produced by Zack Locke and co-star and multi-faceted entertainer, RZA, Thriller is set to have its day at Arclight Cinemas at Culver City on September 23. Festival programmer Heidi Honeycutt details the lowdown:
Years after a childhood prank goes horribly wrong, a clique of South Central LA teens find themselves terrorized during Homecoming weekend by a killer hell-bent on revenge.
What starts out as a cruel but innocent childhood prank turns deadly when introvert target Chauncey Page accidentally kills one of his tormentors. With their friend dead and young Chauncey sent to prison, the children at fault swallow their guilt and get on with their lives as best they can. Years later Chauncey is released. A tall, intimidating figure, his return to the neighborhood conjures uncomfortable feelings for the kids, now teenagers, who fear that he may want to confront them about the horrible past. With their high school preparing for Homecoming and parties and romance at the forefront of their minds, everyone is traumatized when members of their crew start turning up murdered in increasingly gruesome ways. It becomes clear that Chauncey wants far more than a simple apology—he wants revenge.
Thriller isn’t just another slasher film with the novelty of an urban setting and black lead characters. Thriller reevaluates and translates the traditional slasher film story from its roots in 1970s white suburbia to the lives of African-American teenagers experiencing racism, violence and an unforgiving cityscape in modern-day Compton, CA. Drops of revolutionary slasher films such as Halloween (1978), Prom Night (1980) and Terror Train (1980) splatter the film’s cinematography and production design as the narrative manages to participate in the meta—a la self-aware horror of films like Scream (1996) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) —while simultaneously and impressively avoiding it.
Thriller stars Jessica Allain, Luke Tennie, Tequan Richmond, Paige Hurd and Mykelti Williamson from a script by Jackson along with Ken Rance. Click the image below for more info!