Combustible Celluloid Review - Founders Day (2024), Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist, Erik Bloomquist, Naomi Grace, Devin Druid, William Russ, Amy Hargreaves, Catherine Curtin, Emilia McCarthy, Olivia Nikkanen, Jayce Bartok, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Tyler James White, Erik Bloomquist, Adam Weppler, Kate Edmonds, Dylan Slade, Arun Storrs, Patrick Zeller, Shravan Amin
Combustible Celluloid
 
With: Naomi Grace, Devin Druid, William Russ, Amy Hargreaves, Catherine Curtin, Emilia McCarthy, Olivia Nikkanen, Jayce Bartok, Andrew Stewart-Jones, Tyler James White, Erik Bloomquist, Adam Weppler, Kate Edmonds, Dylan Slade, Arun Storrs, Patrick Zeller, Shravan Amin
Written by: Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist
Directed by: Erik Bloomquist
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual references
Running Time: 107
Date: 01/19/2024
IMDB

Founders Day (2024)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Cut Vote

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lifting ideas from dozens of slasher movies that came before it, this uninspired, predictable horror satire is too tame to be really incendiary, and too sluggish to be terribly surprising.

In the small town of Fairwood, it's just a few days away from the local mayoral election, a contentious contest between incumbent Blair Gladwell (Amy Hargreaves) — who promises consistency — and challenger Harold Faulkner (Jayce Bartok), a two-faced bully who has gained fans with his promise to "get things done." Faulkner tries to keep his rebellious, Lesbian daughter Melissa (Olivia Nikkanen) in check, but she storms out for a date her girlfriend Allison (Naomi Grace).

Out of nowhere, a masked killer adorned with a powdered wig and a judge's gavel, attacks Melissa and hurls her over a bridge, while Allison escapes with her life. Things get tense in the town, with arguments over whether to cancel the upcoming Tricentennial celebration. Then, Gladwell's daughter Lilly (Emilia McCarthy) is also murdered in cold blood. Who is behind the killings, and how will it affect the election?

Founders Day is set up much like Scream, with a masked, cloaked killer, and the challenge to figure out who is in on the evil scheme. But, since Scream has inspired so many other movies, including its own sequels, this is all disappointingly familiar territory. The best of these movies can keep viewers on their toes, throwing in sleight-of-hand and misdirection, to hold the mystery out of reach. This movie is so slow and plodding — we feel every second of its 107 minutes — that there's nothing but time to think about whodunit.

Perhaps worse, its only new idea, a political angle, never gets past stage one. It takes the simplistic, fatalist attitude that all candidates are the same, crooked and awful, which only causes apathy, rather than inspiring thoughtful debate or insight. Part of the movie even takes place in a movie theater, and yet Founders Day fails to make use of it in any kind of ironic or "meta" way. Overall, this is a letdown, less an actual vote for something and more like an abstention.

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