Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Initiation

This is a great little flick circa 1984, starring Daphne Zuniga when no one had any idea who the hell Daphne Zuniga was. Her first feature film actually and it isn't a bad one, all things considered. It's got a decent story with a very unexpected twist ending. Daphne plays Kelly Fairchild, the rich daughter of wealthy parents who own some of the most prestigious shopping malls in the world. Kelly has a problem though, she has a strange recurring nightmare that haunts her constantly. In the dream she awakes to the sound of her parents making love. She has the overwhelming urge to stab her father. A strange man enters and scuffles with her father. The strange man is doused in alcohol and set on fire by her father and the dream ends as she watches the stranger burn to death. While studying dreams and nightmares at the college she attends, she meets professor Peter Adams. He suspects that there is more to Kelly's dream than meets the eye. He runs all the typical tests... EEG, MRI, hypnosis, etc. While under hypnosis, her meddling mother barges in. After trying to awake her using her name (Fairchild), she doesn't respond. Mom suggests that he use the name Randall... it works and Kelly awakes. Sidetrack to a scene at an asylum where a gardener with burns over most of his body makes a slight connection to a female patient. As he digs into the ground with a spiked trowel, the female patient seems to get the idea. That night many patients manage to escape, most are caught but one remains elusive. Kelly's parents are informed of the escape and are genuinely worried beyond the general worry of an escaped mental patient. Back to Kelly's sorority life, typical college shenanigans go on. The annual prank night is based around Kelly. The prank is for Kelly and two of her sorority sisters to break into the Fairchild department store and steal the night watchman's uniform. What they don't know is that the night watchman has already been murdered by someone with a spiked gardening trowel. After Kelly and her friends are in the building, another sorority sister (a real bitch named Megan) has invited two fraternity brothers along with intentions of scaring the shit out of Kelly and her friends. At this point no one knows that they are locked in with a killer. Backtrack again to Peter Adams who is doing some major research on Kelly's family history and has found some very unsavory tidbits. It seems that Kelly's recurring nightmare is actually a suppressed memory. Turns out that Kelly walked in on her mother humping Dwight Fairchild, who was a strange man to Kelly, and certainly not her father. Her real father Jason Randall walks in and catches them, at which point Dwight pours alcohol over him and burns him almost to death. This traumatic incident gives poor Kelly amnesia, leading to the confusion of who her real father was. The reason she would see herself stabbing her "father" remains unexplained for now. Back at the department store, everyone gets killed off one by one. Kelly manages to make it up to the roof where she is approached by a man that has been severely burned. She assumes this is the killer and hits him with a pipe, knocking him over the edge to a splattery death. Oops, she just killed her own father. Another oops is that he's not the killer. Thinking she's safe, she goes back into the store to wait for help to arrive. Peter Adams arrives instead and sees Kelly and rushes over to her and they embrace. Out of nowhere she stabs him. Seconds later the "real" Kelly comes around the corner and stares in disbelief as she looks right into the face of her own twin sister that she never knew existed. Though her name is never spoken in the film, she is credited with the name Terry. Terry looks at Kelly and says "Just like looking into a mirror isn't it?" Obviously this is the girl that stabbed Mr. Fairchild, not Kelly. A chase ensues and Terry tells of her plans to kill Kelly and take her place. She raises her knife "Goodnight sister darling" and bang! Mom comes to the rescue and shoots and kills her maniacal daughter Terry. The End. Pretty good twist, but I think it would've been better if Terry actually did kill Kelly and take her place. It seems to me that a mental patient would blend right in with your typical sorority.

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