Redwood Massacre: Annihilation (2020)

Six years after unleashing his terror on a band of campers, the Redwood killer is back for seconds in this sequel that proves to be more than your average slasher film…and that’s a great thing!

Ten years after the disappearance of his daughter Sarah, Tom Dempsey has written a book about the events surrounding Redwood Farm, where after a crazed farmer killed his entire family, has been related to a number of disappearances and deaths, including Sarah. At an event to talk about the events, Tom meets the mysterious Max, who offers him a chance to find the one responsible. At first Tom is reluctant, but when Max shows him the burlap mask that the killer wears, Tom is convinced. However, he will need some help.

Tom runs into his estranged daughter Laura, who has felt her dad’s inability to move on has put a strain on their relationship. Tom eventually convinces Laura to help him on this trip, although it’s clear she is suspicious of Max. Along the way to the house, they run into Laura’s cousins, the quick-witted Jen and tough guy Gus. When they find Redwood Farm, they soon discover that the legend is true. But they soon learn that there is something more sinister to the shocking discovery than they imagined.

In 2014, horror fans were introduced to The Redwood Massacre, a Scottish homage to classics such as Friday the 13th Part II and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. While the film was pretty good despite a few flaws, writer-director David Ryan Keith returns with a new chapter that not only is a major improvement over its predecessors, but adds a bit of star power in the form of legendary horror icon Danielle Harris taking the reins in the lead role.

Where the first film is a by-the-numbers camping horror film, this new installment is more of a family looking to seek revenge against the masked killer, once again played by Benjamin Selway. However, there comes a major curveball in the character of Max, played by Damien Puckler. His introduction is pretty sinister itself and in a way, it could be obvious that he has some sort of obsession with the Redwood murders, even having the mask. There’s even a very disturbing scene in which Max does the unthinkable before the adventure begins with Tom and his family tracking down the Redwood killer with help from Max. The questions that could be raised are: Is Max involved with the Redwood killer or does he have sort of obsession similar to Kakihara’s obsession with Ichi the Killer?

Aside from Danielle Harris playing the tough as nails Laura, who looks for retribution for her sister’s death and to hopefully end her father’s obsession, there are welcome additions in the form of Gary Kasper’s Gus, the equally tough as nails military nut who is clearly the brawn of the group with Tevy Poe’s Jen being the techie member of the family. Jen even has a bit of a crush on Max much to the chagrin of both Laura and Gus, who have their suspicions throughout.

The death scenes are once again, bloody marvelous and one victim’s death would make the creators of Mortal Kombat proud. The final moments of the film are quite shocking and may even to a potential third installment. If that happens, a meshing of the first two films in terms of storyline would make this a phenomenal film.

Redwood Massacre: Annihilation is a sequel that really improves and marks a potential franchise. Some nice intricate and shocking turns, an epic Mortal Kombat-style death, and a wild ending makes this one sequel worth checking out.

WFG RATING: B+

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Clear Focus Movies production in association with 2nd Nature Films. Director: David Ryan Keith. Producers: Lorraine Keith, HemDee Kiwanuka, and Stephen Durham. Writer: David Ryan Keith. Cinematography: David Ryan Keith. Editing: David Ryan Keith.

Cast: Danielle Harris, Damien Puckler, Gary Kasper, Jom Campling, Tevy Poe, Benjamin Selway, Stephanie Lynn Styles.

The film will be released on DVD and on Digital on October 20.

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