Redwood Massacre: Annihilation Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Uncork'd Entertainment


Written and directed by David Ryan Keith
2020, 104 minutes, Not Rated
Released on 20th October 2020

Danielle Harris as Laura Dempsey
Damien Puckler as Max
Gary Kasper as Gus
Jon Campling as Tom Dempsey

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Obsessed with the infamous murders of Redwood House, a man seeks out the relatives of one of the Burlap Killer's victims, convincing them to join him on a trip to the scene of the crime. Not dissuaded by the man's creepy serial killer vibes, Laura Dempsey (Danielle Harris) tags along on his quest, unaware that this will bring her face-to-face (to knife) with the Burlap Killer himself. But if anyone knows how to deal with big scary dudes and their sharp objects, it's Danielle Harris. Honestly, we don't fancy old Burlap's chances.

And the Halloween and Hatchet II-IV star is just the shot in the arm that the Redwood Massacre franchise needs. In spite of good gore gags and a great-looking villain, the 2014 slasher film is a forgettable obscurity. There are worse low-budget slasher films out there, but there are also far better, too. Writer and director David Ryan Keith takes this second opportunity and delivers an improved sequel with a big name star, worthy of his slasher icon wannabe.

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The Burlap Killer isn't the only monster lurking in Redwood House though; as fanboy Max, Damien Puckler gives Annihilation a more human villain. That's not a spoiler - he's literally right there in the opening of the movie, tormenting some poor bound and gagged young thing. One appreciates that Keith didn't go the obvious route with a last-act 'twist' betrayal. Although Max's obvious evil does make Laura and her companions seem a little dim for following him around, the man is great fun to hate. This is no mere rinse-and-repeat of the first film's events, nor a rehash of the usual slasher movie clichés and conventions. Of which, of course, there are still quite a lot.

As with its predecessor, Redwood Massacre: Annihilation doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it's an above average slasher sequel nevertheless. It has two great villains and a typically strong lead performance in Danielle Harris's Laura. Only time will tell whether or not the Burlap Killer ultimately gets to carve out his place in the slasher movie hall of fame, but this entertaining sequel is a reasonable step in the right direction.

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Movie: 3 Star Rating Cover

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Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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