Serena Waits (2018) MOVIES and MANIA review, plus film free to watch online

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‘They messed with the wrong girl’

Serena Waits is a 2018 American horror feature film about three male college athletes being punished for their violent actions.

Written and directed by Hunter Johnson (California Paranormal; Irrational Fear2 Jennifer), the LA Horror production stars Brialynn Massie, Charles Chudabala, Colton Wheeler (Lilith), David Marlowe, Colton Wheeler, Jennifer Clarke, Emily Dahm, Lara Jean and Gregory Blair (Fang; Ugly Sweater Party; Garden Party Massacre).

Review:

It’s been a long-awaited release, but Serena Waits was worth the wait! Another brilliant film from the uber-talented Hunter Johnson, Serena Waits explores the emotionally tumultuous act of vengeance provoked after a horrific drunken night of drinking, drugs and date rape. The horror of one night can linger forever.

Pretty young Serena (Brialynn Massie) is indulging in the party atmosphere of college life by having a typical booze-infused evening with friends at a frat house. Unfortunately, she takes a wrong turn on her walk home and ends up in the bedroom of the testosterone-fueled jock, Jack (Colton Wheeler) who is eager to take full advantage of his intoxicated “finding”. Jack is one retaliatory asshole, unafraid to throw the first blow upon confrontation. Jack is a perfectly played asshole.

Things go bad… very bad… very fast, and while his “no-game having” friend Miles (David Wesley Marlowe) staggers with his video phone, Jack violently violates Serena as she tries to fight him off. When the guys realize they took it too far, along comes the protagonist, Scott (Charles Chudabala) whose clueless mentality adds some innocence to a sickening situation.

Over the next several weeks, the nightmare of what Scott and Miles did to Serena weighs heavily in their everyday lives, while Jack stands firmly to his “never talk about it again” mantra. But when the nightmares become actual supernatural events that invade their daily existence, the guys are forced to face their cruelty head-on with what can only be perceived as the vengeful ghost of Serena.

 

With the support of Scott’s girlfriend, perky Trini (Lara Jean Sullivan), alongside Wendy and Sandy, the gang begins to sift through the invasiveness of Serena’s presence, and the truth begins to unfold. Even an accessory to a deadly incident will elicit payback for staying silent.

Hunter brought forth a tribute to rape survivors in this powerful film, focusing on the after-effects of brutality against women. He unleashes the vulnerability of remorse while still delving into the subsequent apathy that unfortunately can lay dormant in a shameless offender.

 

The thematics created around Serena’s persona are so effectively subtle, that you never lose sight of her presence throughout the entire film. Outstanding work in threading little intricacies within every scene!

Incredible performances beginning with creepy dance instructor Elijah (Gregory Blair), heading to the overzealous and quirky Trini, just reinforce the dead-on casting in Serena Waits. Spotlight on Charles Chudabala for inventing the susceptible Scott who regularly fears his own shadow from the moment that dreadful night concludes. Scott is both huggable and slappable – and if anything else, he is regretful.

Vengeance is a bitch, and that’s a bitch you don’t want to mess with.

Meredith Brown, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:

Serena Waits could be seen as a little stale due to the large expanse of time between the moments of horror. For me I found this downtime to be the most interesting part, detailing how people with dark secrets are able to continue their lives […] When the horror does come it is all suitably nasty.” The Rotting Zombie

“The climax, like the opening, is effective without being overly graphic. Seeing a guy repeatedly get a baseball bat to the crotch hurts even without Revenge style gore. Overall, it’s mostly satisfying if a bit improbable. I say mostly because I think Serena Waits concentrates on the wrong character when it comes to dealing out payback.” Voices from the Balcony

Release:

Terror Films is handling worldwide distribution. Serena Waits will premiere on the Kings of Horror YouTube channel on Friday, August 14th at 2:00 pm PST. The premiere will also include a live stream with Johnson and Chudabala.

Serena Waits will be available exclusively on Kings of Horror for six weeks, followed by a wider release across multiple digital platforms on September 25th, 2020.

Cast and characters:

Brialynn Massie … Serena
Charles Chudabala … Scott
David Marlowe … Miles
Colton Wheeler … Jack
Jennifer Clarke … Sandy
Emily Dham … Wendy/Pam
Lara Jean Sullivan … Trini (as Lara Jean)
Gregory Blair … Elijah
Tiffani Fest … Carla
Chris Kato … Rich
Alisha Mullally … Lisa
Raymond Vinsik Williams … Chad
Eric Larsen … Brock
Samantha Clay … Bunnie
Christian Ackerman … Benson
Mary C. Russell … Celia
Skyler Shelley … Daphne
Nadia Anwar … Taraj
Chrissy Cannone … Velma

Technical details:

80 minutes

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