Sunday, July 16, 2023

Time’s Up, with Hannah Fierman

There is no question horror movies have been ahead of the curve when it comes to calling out bullying. That was what Terror Train was all about (the original and the remake). No points for originality there and this film also alienates potential viewers by equating anti-bullying with “wokeness.” Seriously, who are the biggest crybullies on Twitter? It all goes downhill from there in L.C. Holt’s Time’s Up, which releases Tuesday on VOD.

A bullied high school student committed suicide in Pine Falls, but as the town counts down to the New Year, most of the school’s students and faculty are doing their best to not to deal with it. The exception is Jacqui, a local muckraking journalist, who awkwardly happens to be married to the school guidance counselor, Tony, whose guidance obviously failed the late Brendan. It is super-awkward since their host, Gene the school principal, imposed the code of silence on the faculty.

Jacqui and Tony are about to bail, when Gene and the meathead wrestling coach Cliff go out to investigate a “prankster.” It turns out the party crasher is a slasher-psycho wearing a Father Time mask. According to the production synopsis, Father Time will force them to participate in a horrifying “scavenger hunt.” However, they are really just following a few bloody arrows to the town library.

It is also weird that the marketing does not play up Hannah Fierman more, since she is well-known to horror fans from films like the original
V/H/S. She is definitely the most believable player on-screen. Some of the others are a bit rough, but it is not just them. It is unclear whether Holt was intentionally going for a retro-throwback vibe, but the film looks cheap regardless.

Time’s Up is about E.C. Comics-style justice for bullies, but some innocent people become collateral damage, which blocks the vicarious payback dopamine. Even by low-budget slasher standards, Time’s Up is not very good. Not recommended, it releases Tuesday (7/18) on VOD.