GetAWAY is a new horror movie. It might seem familiar in some ways but there is also a wish to bring something new to the table. While some elements work really well other areas require more work before it hits all marks. Read our full GetAWAY movie review!

Hell hath no fury in GetAWAY

Debuting on December 22, 2020, GetAWAY tells the tale of a group of college students, venturing to the middle-of-nowhere Virginia countryside (i.e., in a very Cabin of the Woods type way) to film a horror short for one student’s final film-class project.

For another student, Maggie (Emma Norville), this weekend adventure is one step closer to her future stardom as an aspiring actress and one step farther from campus to avoid her now ex-boyfriend, Noah (Joshua Cody).

Unfortunately, Noah and his new fling are also part of the film’s production, led by an amazingly high-strung set of film majors (Michael Recchia, Abigail Haggerty, Kristel Rachocki). However, during filming, a second film is being simultaneously recorded by our film’s killer, one featuring the brutal murders of these college students.

Without giving too much away, the reality is that this horror short isn’t the only ongoing project taking place.

Overly slasher, underly meta

Per a Wes Styles interview with director Blayne Weaver, this film had been sitting on Weaver’s desk for a decade, finally debuting this past summer at the deadCenter Film Festival. As a theatre instructor and director-in-residence at Shenandoah University, Weaver (42 actor credits, 10 director credits) admirably employed Shenandoah students as the film’s actors.

While some of these actors were guilty of doing too much with too little of a script or too little with too much script, there are exceptions. I was impressed by Norville, as well as by Kyle Mangold (who played Lando) and A.J. Cabbagestalk (who played Cameron).

All effectively portrayed their characters as I believe they were meant to be played.

GetAWAY (2020) – Review | Blayne Weaver Horror Movie

“You can’t make an omelet without killing a few theater kids”

Unfortunately, GetAWAY’s underlying theme and primary purpose may go overlooked. Halfway through the film, I wondered, “Is this supposed to be a horror-comedy, albeit a dry one?” Despite a few lines of dialogue that were quite funny, it was not.

In actuality, GetAWAY’s blatant slasher subgenre overpowers its meta-commentary on student film making. In my notes during viewing, I wrote, “A horror movie, that couldn’t figure out how to be a horror movie, about a student horror movie that couldn’t figure itself out.” And also “…this movie is trying to be ‘meta’ but can’t quite stick the landing.”

In fairness, that is exactly what it is.

I was not a film major and I never took a film class. However, now knowing that Weaver is Shenandoah faculty and actors are Shenandoah students, this film, which, on its surface, is both cringeworthy and forgettable, seemingly captures early filmmakers’ struggles.

Essentially, we’re talking everything from the screenplay, direction, crew cohesion, scheduling, and production. All while also enabling the use of the subjectively dire trials and tribulations of college life.

Watch GetAWAY on-demand starting December 22, 2020

Much like Cabin in the Woods, the real story of GetAWAY may be missed, unfortunately, overwhelmed by some overacting and overreliance on the slasher subgenre, lending its rating to 2 stars (maybe even 2.5 stars).

While the latterly noted overreliance may have been purposeful so as to reflect the inevitable disorganization of students’ early films, this theme was overly dramatized.

With a total of 13 kills, 8 of which were far from amateur, had the film been a share wittier or made use of a Marty-Mikalski-type character (cf., Cabin), GetAWAY may have earned a more widely appreciated 3-star rating. One that may be especially appreciated by film majors.

GetAWAY is coming to VOD on December 22, 2020.

Details

Director: Blayne Weaver
Writer: Blayne Weaver
Stars: Emma Norville, Danielle Carrozza, Kyle Mangold, Franchesca Contreras, Joshua Cody, Jon Rust

Plot

Devastated by a sudden break-up, young actress Maddie needs a getaway from campus to help mend her broken heart. Her best friend lands her a role in the student slasher flick shooting this weekend at a camp deep in the Virginia forest. It’s the perfect place to unwind, but no matter how far into the woods she goes, her problems keep sneaking up behind her. Before the film’s crew can shoot their first frame, their production gains an unwelcome new crew member…and he’s out for blood! Props go missing, equipment is stolen, and the bodies pile up. A crazed maniac has zeroed in on the students of this film class, but nothing is truly as it seems in GetAWAY. The cast and crew turn on each other as they fight for their lives trying to escape the slaughter. And the bloodthirsty psychopath shoots each grisly demise for his own perverted movie. 

Cognitive neuroscientist by day, avid horror fan by night, I began writing reviews/recaps for Heaven of Horror in March 2019. I have a particular affinity to found-footage horror, but I truly love all horror subgenres. As a diagnosed sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder, horror movies help relieve my anxieties (and apparently, there's some science to support that). My favorite horror films/shows include Let the Right One In, Hell House LLC, Host, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, The Babysitter, The Haunting of Hill House, and so many more. I'm very particular about a film's originality when I write reviews, and I hope to steer y'all in the right directions when it comes to which movies to stream versus skip. Happy viewing!