Black Friday is one of those movies that on paper works, a high concept comedy horror that would have been a rental favourite back in the day of the VHS/DVD rental stores that no longer exist. Now it has to find it’s audience across the digital landscape, which is no mean feat, when there is plenty of competition out there these days. With a fairly decent cast, cult icon in the shape of Bruce ‘Evil Dead’ Campbell and loads of marauding monsters in a toy store, whats not to like?
Overworked, underpaid and ready for the apocalypse. It’s the biggest sale of the year and this time round the shoppers are out of their mind and out for blood. Fighting for their lives a misfit group of employees including store manager Jonathan (Bruce Campbell, Evil Dead) find themselves fighting for survival against shoppers on a murderous rampage. Also starring Devon Sawa(Final Destination) and Michael Jai White(Black Dynamite), Black Fridaywas written by Andy Greskoviak and directed by Casey Tebo.
Black Friday sets itself up simply enough, with obvious odes, to films such as Gremlins, Critters et al, it’s a modern reworking, setting itself up in a Toy Store on Black Friday, what you have is a bunch of disgruntled staff who could be right out of a sitcom, taking on the carnage of Black Friday and then they start turning into blood thirsty monsters, that back our heroes into a corner to survive. Clerks on crack if you will.
The cast rise the proceedings well above where they should be and Campbell doing what he does best, makes it infinitely more watchable at every turn. Ivana Baquero is delightful and could carve herself out a star making turn here. The film is compromised by a rushed and somewhat botched finale, that leaves the field wide open for sequels if it makes enough money, which it might have done, had it managed a cinema release, dulls the entire film down from being a breakout film that you have to watch. Some of the effects of the ‘big bad’ leave a lot to be desired, even by the low budget constraints. When the rest of the film seems to have had plenty of work done, the finale in the car park, just seems somewhat flat and a bit moot.
Still if you’re looking for a creature feature for a Saturday night, you could do a lot worse than Black Friday, although it’s not as smart as it think it is, the whole cast give it a good go and seem to be really enjoying themselves, although there’s no forgiving the distinct lack of Michael Jai White in proceedings and then to bump him off way to early…. The most shocking thing in the entirety of Black Friday.
Black Friday is available to buy and rent on Digital now