One of my favorite horror sub-genres right now is influencer horror. With social media being so prevalent in our lives, it was only a matter of time before it became prevalent in horror too. That’s why I kicked off my feature-length film coverage of the Unnamed Footage Festival with #ChadGetsTheAxe. Given how Deadstream, a horror comedy that tried to tackle a similar concept, didn’t work for me, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed this film!
In #ChadGetsTheAxe, “four social media influencers livestream their trip to Devil’s Manor, the former home to a satanic cult. Things don’t go well. And as the violence ramps up… so do the views.”
The strongest part of #ChadGetsTheAxe is its commentary on social media influencer culture. I really appreciated that while there are comedic parts of this film, it takes that aspect a bit more seriously in how it plays out. The viewers are as much the villain as Burrows (the cult leader killer). There is a moment when Chad is hiding and the viewers literally call him to get him spotted. The filmmakers also showcase the fickle nature of the viewer by having them leave the livestreams at various points.
It is very easy to compare this to Deadstream due to their similar plots. However, I would argue that this is the superior execution because it knows when to let the comedy take a backseat to the scares. The humor in this also doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard. I am typically fairly anti-comedy, so the fact that I wasn’t annoyed or didn’t feel bombarded with sophomoric jokes speaks volumes to the quality of the writing in this film.
Where the film struggles a bit is the transition between the influencers when one of them dies or falls off the livestream. These parts feel a bit jarring and it takes a minute for the audience to get back into what they are watching. There are also some moments where non-diegetic music is added and sort of takes you out of the moment as well because it feels out of place.
Overall, #ChadGetsTheAxe really hits on some social commentary that’s worth exploring and does a good job of addressing that. I definitely hope to see this film make the festival rounds and eventually get picked up because I’d love to watch this again with friends!
My Rating: 3.5/5