Chad (Spencer Harrison Levin) has a big following on social media and his pranks are legendary. He gets hundreds of thousands of views on each of his videos and the things that he livestreams are more outrageous every time.
Hearing about a place called Devil’s Manor where a satanic cult was meant to have stayed, Chad gathers his friends; Steve (Michael Bonini), Jennifer (Taneisha Figueroa) and Spencer (Cameron Vitosh) to investigate and hopefully get the biggest audience of their lives. However, somebody else is watching them and one by one they get picked off until Chad has to decide whether his life or his platform is more important.
#ChadGetsTheAxe is a horror comedy directed by Travis Bible and co-written by Kemerton Hargrove. Like other social media horror movies such as Spree and Friend Request, #ChadGetsTheAxe shows that there’s still something to say about the media format in the horror genre.
Starting out as horror movies often do, gathering a group of people in a house where something sinister may have happened is always a good albeit cliched premise. It also feels like the found footage genre has been done to death by now.
However, #ChadGetsTheAxe is helped along in its knowing set up by the constant stream of comments from the people watching the video. Something that may have been a little distracting becomes part of the narrative as the audience watching at home can laugh along just as horror audiences usually do, while the comments reflect what they’re all thinking.
Chad is also arguably the most annoying member of the gang, however thanks to Levin’s performance, the audience may start to feel for him as they realise that his need for social media attention has left him very much alone. It would have been an easy thing to set up a group of self-absorbed social media stars only to watch them die, but the film’s commentary on the nature of social media, horror movies and even found footage is well done.
#ChadGetsTheAxe may feel like a generic slasher on the surface, but the more savvy members of the audience will get something more thought provoking than they’d first considered.
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