Pitchfork is a hardcore horror movie with a few campy elements and some truly awesome moments. The core concept is great, but unfortunately the execution doesn’t match this.

PitchforkWhen I first heard about the storyline in Pitchfork, I couldn’t wait to watch it. It’s basically about a young man going home to be out and proud. He’s joined by his group of friends from college, who support him and want to be there for him.

Well, in theory anyway.

Not all of them are all that supportive, and they seem to forget about him very quickly and focus on partying instead. Personally, I wish Pitchfork had taken either a very dark or very camp road. As it stands now, we’re left in a bit of no man’s land.

Don’t worry though, this is mostly during the beginning when we get to know people. And unfortunately, not very many of the characters are likable. Either they’re literally shitty people or they’re extremely naive.

Not that it matters. This is, after all, a very classic slasher horror movie, so most will die.




The characters are too one-dimensional

For me, any story – even in a slasher horror movie – needs to have at least one or two characters that I care about. I don’t have to like them, but I need to have some sort of emotional involvement. Otherwise, I don’t really care that they get killed.

In fact, to me, the most fascinating character is by far the Pitchfork killer.

Obviously, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But being gay myself, I did expect to relate in some way to the gay lead character.

pitchfork horror movie review

Unfortunately, it seems that this “gay man, going home and coming out”-story is a marketing ploy and nothing more. Good for you that you get attention from LGBTQ media, but you really should make sure the movie actually matches what you’re pitching.

It’s no secret that the LGBTQ audience is grotesquely loyal (seriously, it’s almost to a fault), so it’s a shame to waste this opportunity.

Also, there is a word for trying to catch the LGBTQ audience and then not delivering; Queer baiting. I don’t feel Pitchfork actually falls into this category, but it’s way too close.

Anyway, your loss because now I’m left with more of a mediocre slasher movie that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. After all, minority characters have always been a part of horror movies. Sure, we tend to be the villain or die early on, but still, we’re used to seeing ourselves in this genre.




A big cast but few interesting characters

As I stated above, there are a lot of characters that I am very indifferent to. For the record, I think the actors did perfectly fine jobs. They just didn’t have much to work with.

However, there was one couple that I truly did enjoy watching, and when it came to their deaths (of course, they did die), I really started to get into the movie. And since the Pitchfork killer is a surprisingly enigmatic character – despite never actually speaking a word – I was interested to see what he would be up to next.

Also, I did enjoy the character with the British accent.

And this is what I kept coming back to while watching this movie: Pitchfork definitely does have some great elements with campy moments and hardcore blood and gore scenes. It just isn’t consistent!

One moment you’re laughing or squirming (in a good way) and the next, you find yourself rolling your eyes and squirming (in a bad way).

pitchfork indie horror movie review

A surprisingly strong ending

I will definitely give the movie this compliment: It continued to build up to something more. And then it certainly did deliver an ending much better than I ever could’ve imagined.

In fact, the origin story of the Pitchfork killer was super creepy. I would gladly watch a prequel that focuses on that character and his background. And, obviously, the character should once again be portrayed by Daniel Wilkinson. He was an absolute scene stealer in this movie!

The movie was directed by Glenn Douglass Packard, who also created the story and co-wrote the script along with Darryl F. Gariglio. This is the feature film debut for the both of them, so I can forgive a lot of the faults of Pitchfork as inexperience. There’s so much potential in the story, and some great moments as well. It just needs to be executed better!

Pitchfork premieres in select US theaters and On Demand January 13, 2017.

Details

Director: Glenn Douglas Packard
Writer: Darryl F. Gariglio, Glenn Douglas Packard
Cast: Daniel Wilkinson, Brian Raetz, Lindsey Nicole

Plot

A group of friends return home with a friend to help him share a secret only to learn that sometimes older secrets are even more deadly.

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina

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Review Date
Reviewed Item
Pitchfork (2017)
Rating
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