This review is spoiler-free.
Telling the story of a school reunion gone wrong, Paintball Massacre is a low budget, British comedy/horror film which packs a big splodge of fun.
The film is a little slow to start with but I urge you to persevere with it because once it gets going, it really does deliver what it promises. As a bunch of old school friends reunite for the first time since school, old friendships and old rivalries resurface. A game of paintball is planned for day two of their reunion and this is where things start to go wrong.
I’ve been scared of paintball ever since I watched PJ on Byker Grove go blind after being shot in the face as a kid, so for me this is a great topic to base the film on. The game brings in a cameo from Katy Brand who sets the comedic tone that’s to follow. But the laughs die down as these old friends realise that someone is taking this very seriously and the opposing team have been brutally murdered.
At the centre of the group is Jessica (Cheryl Burniston) who assumes the classic horror film girl role. But as a Steps fan, it’s Lee Latchford-Evans as Nathan which drew my attention to this in the first place. Lee, who really is one of the nicest guys you could meet, plays the nice guy who was the nerd at school. He’s obviously experiencing a period of bad mental health while this is going on and it’s a shame his back story wasn’t explored a little more. I’m impressed with Lee’s acting and I completely loved that he managed to get the words ‘steps’ in on one of his lines. The other stand out for me Natasha Killip as foul-mouthed, semi famous, Lauren. She was absolutely hilarious throughout the whole film and came out with some fantastic, sarcastic one liners which genuinely made me laugh out loud.
Comedy aside, this is a decent slasher film and the aid of some 80’s themed slasher music playing over scenes where the killer is doing his thing, was a clever addition. The killer’s identity is basically left to your own interpretation which I felt was a very nice touch. Push past the first part of this film and you’ll be thankful you did. It’s a really fun horror film which at times will make you laugh and has a good enough cliffhanger to leave you wanting a little bit more.
Lastly, whoever thought of the idea of comparing the Fast and Furious films to random life encounters is an absolute genius!