The worst sin for horror fans is when filmmakers overdo the meta-ness of a project in the hopes of hitting enough tropes and cliches to scrape by; that is not this [short] film. With the myriad of streaming services, nowadays more than ever, anyone with a camera and enough spare cash can shoot a film and throw it up on Amazon Prime--which isn’t a bad thing by any stretch, but sometimes too much of something can be too overbearing for even the most devote horror fan. Which is why when horror is done right it can be more refreshing than taking your face mask off after a trip to the grocery store.
Slaybor Day 7 is the latest film from writer/director/producer Justin Wayne, and hot damn is it a blast. This mockumentary follows Behind the Mask, a show hosted by silver fox Barry Bones as he interviews horror icon Maddox Mason, who kills anyone who wears white after Labor Day.
Where the film really succeeds is the tasteful ways it pays homage to the films it’s inspired by, without seeming ass-kissy to the audience. From Scream to Maniac the film is chock full with fun and incredibly creative homages, while continuing to make the film their own.
The actors really embody their roles and seem to just have a blast with giving it their all, though I think the standout performance is Chelsea Forsgren who plays Courtney Wolf an over-the-top commentary channel on Fancast. She takes the tone of some of the most annoying YouTube commentators and really…takes it to the top (in the best way possible).
On the whole, the film chronicles the rise and fall of horror icon Maddox Mason, but it’s much more than that. It feels like a commentary on how horror fans seem to generalize iconic genre actors with the more famous characters they play i.e. Kane Hodder as Jason, Robert Englund as Freddy, Tony Todd as Candyman and with this film, the horror icon attempts to take back their name. But again, art is subjective, right? And in case you were also wondering no there is no Slaybor Day 1-6. While some films have attempted using that gimmick, it feels like a successful use in this instance and really drives home its commentary on the genre.
Overall Slaybor Day 7 is a wonderful nod to the genre that doesn’t grovel to gain our respect--it earns it. This award winning short film releases April 29th, on multiple platforms so definitely go check it out! (And oh yeah, definitely don’t wear while after Labor Day)
Catch the live world premier live on YouTube
I am a Penn State graduate with a degree in Film. I am an award winning horror screenplay writer, a filmmaker, and a slug.
I also manger the Horror Facts Instagram page.