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Top Customer Reviews
The opening does set up an intriguing premise, with Daphne Zuniga constantly having a dream in which she's a young child watching her father fighting another man. After that, the film bogs down quite a bit with repetitive hypnosis scenes, and at least one of the twists involving her dreams is entirely predictable, so for the first half, the film hasn't done much at all.
But then, cut to the second half, once the girls break into the department store, and are knocked off one-by-one by the killer, and the film suddenly turns from sluggish to suspenseful. The kill scenes are built up quite well with plenty of blood, there are a few good jump-in-your-seat shocks, and it's nice to see I couldn't quite guess who would die in what order. The huge mall works extremely well in the movie's favor, making for a fairly complex setting in which the killer could be hiding anywhere.
There are even two scenes of gratuitous nudity, provided by none other than goregous soap star Hunter Tylo (credited here as Deborah Morehart), who happens to look even hotter now then she did 18 years ago! Unfortunately, the film stars Daphne Zuniga, who makes for a very flat heroine. I've heard many describe her as a talented actress, but I just don't see it. The rest of the performances are pretty standard, not even Vera Miles or Clu Gulager stand out.Read more ›
So why four stars? The movie just works for some reason. Somehow the blantant red herrings, in-your-face clues, etc still leave you surprised when the "shocking" twist ending is revealed. Or, maybe I am just an idiot... but all the people I have watched it with never saw it coming either.
Half of the movie takes place in a huuuuuge mall at night. The mall provides endless hiding spaces for the killer (or killers?) to wait and pounce from. The gore effects are really top notch. The attacks come quickly and viciously and look quite real. Even though the mall is huge, there is a claustrophobic feel since the principle characters are locked in without a real way of getting away from their attacker.
Veteran actors Clu Gulager and Vera Miles add some weight to the light, early career performances of Daphne Zuniga (Spaceballs, The Sure Thing, Melrose Place), Hunter Tylo (The Bold and the Beautiful), and brief talkshow host Marilyn Kagan.
The DVD I bought was the Initiation-only version whose only feature was a theatrical trailer. There is now a double-feature DVD that contains The Initiation AND The Mountaintop Motel Massacre. I haven't seen that movie, but you might as well buy it instead and get an extra movie out of the deal. You certainly won't be sacrificing any special features. But, again, this movie is good. There are lots of things to pick it apart over, but as a whole, it delivers.
One example that I feel is somewhat underrated is Larry Stewart's "the Initiation" (filmed in 1983; released '84). It stars a very young Daphne Zuniga in an early film appearance as a college freshman sorority pledge who agrees to sneak into and spend the night with her cohorts and their boyfriends in a huge multi-floored Texas shopping center after hours and closing time. Unbeknownst to them, a killer is locked in there with them and proceeds to pick them off one by one, in a film that has all the slasher conventions of the past present and yet is relatively well acted, directed, and stylishly executed.
There is an interior subplot regarding the recurring dreams Daphne's character is having, of a brutal childhood murder, and while some have said the first hour drags on too long, at least it makes this one different than your average run of the mill slasher, a form of which audiences had grown increasingly tired with by this time.
Back to the slasher conventions, there is some good gore here and a couple of really choice scenes of requisite female nudity (one briefly full frontal to boot), including a really welcome scene of some hot sorority babes showering. In addition, good use is made of the confining environment of the setting and I thought the mall after hours with the lights out was quite creepy looking. Particularly effective is the scene where one of the victim's screams are captured over the mall's P.A. system, which I felt was a nice original touch.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
makes one wonder if this really does occur in colleges. scary and well potrayed. great acting for a change.Published 24 days ago by Rich
Again the killer in the mall, the killer in the woods, they just don't make them like this anymore.Published 2 months ago by donald taber
Granted, THE INITATION doesn't compare favorably to the best slasher films like HALLOWEEN or the original Friday THE 13TH, but even so it's a surprisingly successful horror film... Read morePublished 6 months ago by K. Jump
One topless and one full frontal. Real breasts and not bald.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer