Thriller is a 2018 American horror film produced and directed by Dallas Jackson, making his feature debut, from a screenplay co-written with Ken Rance.
The Divide/Conquer production stars Mykelti Williamson, RZA, Jason Woods, Jessica Allain, Luke Tennie, Tequan Richmond, Paige Hurd, Chelsea Rendon, Mitchell Edwards, Pepi Sonuga, Maestro Harrell and Michael Ocampo.
Compton, California: Introverted young man Chauncey Page (Jason Woods) is sent to juvenile hall after he accidentally kills a young woman who is part of a group of tormentors that play a cruel prank on him.
Years later, he is released and is back for revenge — and blood — as Chauncey serves up some murderous karma as the group, now in high school, gets ready for Homecoming. Dressed in a hoodie, he picks them off one by one…
“So much time is spent with these teens in their daily lives and so little is spent fleshing out anything remotely to do with the slasher plot that it leaves an impression that this project wasn’t initially conceived as a horror movie at all. There’s a nugget of a good idea buried under weak writing, acting, and directing…” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting
“Thriller runs under 90 minutes. But it’s so painfully predictable and flatly filmed that I was already anxious for it to be over before Act One even finished. Pedestrian plotting is far from Thriller’s only issue. Sloppy execution mars the movie on its technical front too.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt
“The main cast is full of stereotypes that actually feel both relevant and poignant at first but eventually turn into boring clichés […] It’s not serious enough to work as a truly terrifying horror movie and missed its opportunity to be a dark horror comedy.” Karina Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror
“The director has gotten himself in the weeds of character development, rather than remind audiences what makes slasher films enjoyable […] By the time Thriller gets through the coming-of-age story, the slasher elements are dead – becoming an add-on, rather than a core plot device.” Daniel Hart, Ready Steady Cut!
“If it sounds like a fun idea for a ‘90s-style slasher pic, it is, but the execution is something else altogether. For a good hour, Thriller is the kind of flat, dull teen drama that even The CW would pass on. We’re subjected to teen rivalries that are literally impossible to care about and weak relationship drama.” Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
Thriller is distributed by Blumhouse and had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on September 23, 2018. It was added to Netflix USA on April 14, 2019
The film’s working title was Vengeance.