Movie Review: The 6th FriendJanuary 16, 2019
Horror films, while definitely enjoying a resurgence these past couples of years, still have the tendency to fall into familiar, lazy patterns. This is not true with The 6th Friend, and while it sometimes treads upon familiar ground it gives the viewer plenty to think about over the course of the film.
The movie follows Joey (Jamie Bernadette), Melissa (Chantelle Albers), Heather (Dominique Swain), Katie (Jessica Morris), Sahara (Tania Nolan) and Becca (Monique Rosario) who have been reunited five years after a drug-fueled incident turned into a nightmare and almost tore their friendship apart. It is Joey who suffered the most, trying to run from what happened and distancing herself from her friends. The idea of a reunion sounds good to everyone except Joey, who still has many doubts.
However, everyone in the audience knows this won’t end well and before you know it, things start spinning out of control and the six friends find themselves in an even worse situation than before. This leads to some great scenes where we find out not only how they react as individuals but if they can work together as a group to survive what is happening to them.
Bernadette (who also wrote the screenplay and is a producer) takes the broken and tragic person in Joey and makes her a very intriguing character. She seems to be the ‘weak link’ of the group but in fact, she is a lot stronger and smarter than anyone realizes. It is a very strong performance the turmoil of her character and how she deals with things was great to watch. Chantelle Albers and Monique Rosario also had some great moments in the spotlight as Melissa and Becca.
There is some decent blood and gore in the film with some interesting kills but I wouldn’t really call it overly scary. However, the movie is full of suspense and builds up the tension very well. There is the sense of a mystery to be solved as well, which amps up the suspense as the movie moves along. The ‘whodunit’ part of the film might be familiar but it was done in a way that I found interesting, not some cookie-cutter plot device just to start killing people off.
I did find a few things that didn’t really work for me. There were times when some of the cast kind of got lost in the shuffle, and some dialogue between some of the characters sounded too forced or cliché. However, the isolated cabin in the woods setting still works and helped enhance the eerie mood of the movie. I would also like to say I really like the mask they came up with, the design was great. That could have been an epic failure as masks have quite a history in horror films but this one was really well done.
It would be easy for The 6th Friend to get lost in the shuffle of content in this part of the horror genre but I really hope it doesn’t. There are enough good things going on in this movie to help elevate it over your average film. It’s loads of fun, solid female cast and something I definitely recommend you check out.
Three and a half stars out of five
The 6the Friend hit theaters January 11th and was released on VOD January 15th