The 6th Friend
the 6th friend | letia clouston | jamie bernadette | chantelle albers | dominique swain | united states | slasher | drug | hallucinate | jessica morris | tania nolan | monique rosario | david villada | tina cole | matt clouston | benjamin adamson | jack cullison
Film: The 6th Friend
Director: Letia Clouston
Writer: Jamie Bernadette and Letia Clouston
Starring: Jamie Bernadette, Chantelle Albers and Dominique Swain
I saw this movie when the co-writer and star, Jamie Bernadette, reached out to a social group I’m currently maintaining about this being on Amazon Prime. Since I like to support independent cinema and this sounding intriguing I decided to give it a viewing. The synopsis here is a six college best friends throw their own private graduation party that goes terribly wrong when an uninvited guest arrives. Five years later, the girls gather once again and endure a night of far more horror and bloodshed.
As the synopsis states, we start with this group of women. There’s Joey Taylor (Bernadette), Melissa White (Chantelle Albers), Heather (Dominique Swain), Katie (Jessica Morris), Sahara (Tania Nolan) and Becca (Monique Rosario). They’re partying and Tyler (David Villada) shows up. He’s there to bring drugs and decides to party with them for a bit. This bothers some of them, but Katie is interested in him. They all drop acid and Katie goes into a room with Tyler. He makes things odd by putting on a skull mask and the women are concerned when the bedroom door is locked. We don’t see what happens, but from the aftermath, the women are all covered in blood as Tyler was killed.
It turns out that they punished him for the attempted rape of Katie. They weren’t punished, but Joey is struggling with the knowledge of what they did. Melissa ‘kidnaps’ her 5 years later to go a cabin that her family owns. Joey has distanced herself from everyone to cope so her friends are trying to get back. The night goes pretty well until Melissa is showing different things of her work on a highlight reel. After the event, she got somewhat of a career and being famous from it. Talking about what happened bothers Joey as she was told that they weren’t going to on this trip. It is then that all of the women reveal, they’ve been seeing Tyler in his mask stalking them. The question becomes, is it his ghost or someone messing with them? The truth is much more sinister than they expected when the masked person arrives here and they start to get picked off.
Now I do have to say at the start of this, I thought that this sounded interesting and seeing how it plays out, I thought that overall this worked. Coming out now during this ‘Me Too’ era is really intriguing, because under the influence these six brutally murdered a guy that was attempting to rape their friend. I do find this to be a bit implausible that they wouldn’t have any type of repercussion, because they still murdered a guy. Not only that, they brutally stabbed him multiple times. It is set 5 years after the fact, so there could have been something it was just glossed over.
Something I do have to say is that outside of Joey and Melissa, they really don’t flesh out the characters all that much. I get that having six of them makes it tough and I’m assuming that number was selected due to the fact that it gives a higher body count at the end. I will have a brief spoiler section at the bottom of this, but the reveals with Joey were good. I think part of that was probably Bernadette playing her as well as coming up with the story and co-writing this movie. I do think that the rest of the characters are distinct though, but they’re pretty generic stereotypical characters movies like this have. Pretty much stock would be another way to put them.
This does kind of play out like a slasher film as well. We don’t really get a lot of stabbing deaths, but we do get quite a few people picked off until we get to our final girl. I have to say though, this movie is kind of boring. I think the reason being is that it really takes so long to get into the killing. It spends a lot of time introducing our characters and it also makes us wait a bit to understand what happened fully that fateful night. There are a couple of interesting reveals at the end, but I’ll get to that during spoilers.
As for the acting, I did think that it was pretty solid. Bernadette does well at being someone who is attractive yet brooding. I feel bad for her as she never fully got over what happened, despite everyone pressuring her to. Albers is also solid as well. I think that her character makes sense to what is established so where she ends up I did buy. Swain is an interesting one as I remember when she was casted in the remake to Lolita. I shouldn’t factor in it, since she doesn’t look older, but I just knew that she was quite a bit older than the rest so I have issues believing they all graduated the same year. Her performance worked and actually one of the better ones for sure. Morris, Nolan and Rosario all round out here for what was needed. Despite being stock characters, they do bring enough of their own flair here for sure.
When it comes to movies like this, I do get concerned with how well they will do the effects. To be honest, I thought for the most part they were good here. They went practical aside from a couple of things. I could tell that the fire we get was CGI, but it looked better than some I’ve seen. There was only one scene right near the end that didn’t really work for me and wasn’t great. Aside from that, we get some trippy effects when they’re doing drugs. I don’t know since I’ve never used acid if that is how it looks, but we get this later when they don’t know if they’re really seeing Tyler or not. I would say that the cinematography was pretty solid though.
Now with that said, I thought this was a pretty solid film overall. I think it has an interesting premise and I would actually like to pick Bernadette’s brain where she came up with story and how much of it was from personal experience. Not all of the reveals work for me, but overall the story works. I did find it a bit boring after we get introduced to our characters to really get into the killings. The acting was solid across the board, no issues there. The effects aside from a couple things were good. The soundtrack really didn’t stand out to me, but it also didn’t hurt or take me out of it. Overall I’d say that this is to be slightly over average movie. With just a few minor changes it could have been a bit higher.
My Rating: 6 out of 10
The reveal is that the killer is Melissa. She is an aspiring actress and was doing pretty well fresh out of college after that fateful night. She was doing the normal low grade celebrity thing over this tragedy much like you would see with reality stars. Now that it is drying up, she is trying to use this night to create another tragedy and wants to have Joey ‘survive’ it with her. The problem is that Joey never got over it and she doesn’t want that. Melissa then knows she has to kill her too. She tries to get cute with some of the deaths and Joey’s is one of them.
She tries to stage it as an overdose, but the problem is that she had no idea Joey is now a drug addict after that night. The amount of drugs doesn’t kill her due to a higher tolerance. I think this is a bit of a cheat, as Joey doesn’t look like someone who is that deep into drugs that the dose wouldn’t kill her. This doesn’t ruin it, as someone who has seen the effects of drug use on people, they really can’t hide it if they’re that deep. Doesn’t ruin the movie, but is a bit of a cheat for me. I do like how Joey is getting exactly what Melissa was working for in the end as a fitting ending though for sure.