April Fool's Day (1986)

By Brett Mullins

Released: 1986

Directed by Fred Walton; Written by Danilo Bach

A slasher film themed after a minor holiday does not sound like the most appealing plot ever conceived. That being said, April Fool’s Day is an 80’s slasher that manages to be interesting, clever, and not just another duplicate of the overused Halloween formula.

Nine college students spend the weekend at their fellow student Muffy’s soon-to-be-inherited mansion on a secluded island. On the ferry ride over and throughout their stay, the line between celebratory pranks and horrific accidents becomes blurred.

From beginning to end, April Fool’s Day feels like a trip through a haunted house; frights and suspense are around every corner. The interesting aspect of this film is that the audience quickly is unable to differentiate between the numerous gags and tragic murders. This allows for a high level of tension, because the audience does not fully understand the reality of the situation.
The acting is top notch all around. Deborah Foreman’s portrayal of Muffy was especially well done. The same goes for the film’s production value and direction.
There was a bit of confusion throughout regarding the characters. It’s often difficult to keep track of ten different people when they’re all around the same age and introduced close to the same time. As the film progressed, it became easier to identify the major players; however, I still don’t know who Buck is.

April Fool’s Day is a fun slasher that is rather creative and a notch above other films of the era.

Rating: 7/10

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