LAST OF THE GRADS (2021) Reviews and overview of slasher movie

 

Last of the Grads is a 2021 American slasher horror film about a class of graduating high school seniors celebrate their last night together.

Written, produced and directed by Jay Jenkins and Collin Kliewe, the Keyway Pictures production stars Michael Vincent Berry, Jennings Brower, Jadon Cal, Matt Catanzaro and Michael Cherbini.

Plot:

A class of graduating high school seniors, nearing the crossroads of their lives, celebrate their last night together at the annual school lock-in. They never could have guessed that they’re about to encounter the harbinger of death, the legendary ‘Coast to Coast killer’…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Caveats notwithstanding, there’s no accounting for the pure, unbridled pleasure of watching hapless teens mowed down by a masked slasher. One time or one hundred times, the thrill never wanes. Despite its sundry influences, Last of the Grads endeavors to harken back to that golden age of bountiful gore and adolescent devilry.” Dread Central

“There’s plenty of characters and situations familiar from old-school slashers and they’re played straight. There’s no ironic winking at the audience, just a bit of updating to make the characters a bit more believable […] Last of the Grads is, along with The Last Matinee, one of the best and most blood-soaked slashers to come along in a while.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Michael Vincent Berry … Sheriff Murray
Jennings Brower … Jet
Jadon Cal … Steve Clayton
Matt Catanzaro … Dirk (as Matthew Cantazaro)
Michael Cherbini … Mutt
Noah Diggs … Ricky
Joey DiSomma … Coach Russo
Peter Donahue … Chuck
Sara Eklund … Donna McCormick
Alexander Estes … Teen in SUV
Austin Estremera … Bully #3
Jim Fitzpatrick … Mr Bradley
Reed Foster … Timmy
Chloe Friedman … Stacey
Ted Gibson … Leroy

Filming locations:

Seacrest Country Day School, 7100 Davis Blvd, Naples, Florida

Technical details:

Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA comment and rating:

While it doesn’t deviate too far from the sub-genre norms, Jay Jenkins and Collin Kliewe manage to achieve something unique with their debut feature. Due to the gradual lead-in, the characters feel more real and relatable so when multiple killings occur there is greater tension. The practical effects are mostly handled well, except for a couple of occasions when they feel slightly cartoonish (an easily squished head and a double death by photocopier). Even the lengthy running time, which is usually a barrier to successful low-budget, feels natural and fits the small-town vibe. Last of the Grads is definitely a welcome slasher offering.