The Initiation Movie Review

Release: 1984, Rating: R, Runtime: 97 min.


Slasher movies were a dime a dozen in the 80s, yet I can’t help myself whenever I get a chance to watch one. The Initiation, is a slasher film from the 80s, so what more can said? It’s got a secret killer, college co-eds in distress, lots of the red stuff and oh yeah, nudity. Does that mean it’s a good movie though? Maybe, maybe not. Only way to find out, is by reading on…

Short nitty-gritty plot description from Netflix is as follows: Tormented by recurring nightmares, sorority pledge Kelly must come to terms with her visions to get through an initiation that requires her to spend the night in an empty department store. But an escaped psychopathic killer is targeting the pledges.

We follow Kelly as she suffers from some terrible nightmares, where she dreams of walking in on her parents making whoopee, a nightmare we’ve all probably had, when a man comes rushing into the room and gets in a fight with the father. A dash of split alcohol later and the guy is on fire. Kelly always wakes up at that moment and has no idea why she is having this terrible reoccurring dream. She seeks out the help of Peter, an assistant professor, who also deals in dream therapy. While she gets some help from him, she also has to deal with her initiation into a sorority.

In the mean time, we take a visit to the local sanatorium, where we find out the burnt guy in Kelly’s dreams, is very much a real person and is very much still alive. A breakout occurs at the insane asylum and a nurse is brutally murdered. The killer has escaped and could it be the burnt man seeking revenge?

As for the initiation part of the title, Kelly has to take part in one final trial, which is a big prank. Kelly, along with the pledges, has to break into Kelly’s father’s mall and steal the security guards clothes. Sounds easy enough, except for the fact that the mysterious killer, is hunting down her friends and is hot on her tail. The killer will stop at nothing to murder every single person Kelly comes in contact with.

Usually, a slasher will have some sort of catch to draw you in, a twist or something. The Initiation, is no different, as the entire movie relies on a keeping the identity of the killer a secret, which is something most slasher films do, unless you’re The Slumber Party Massacre, but the difference with this movie, is the twist is so easy to guess, I ruined the movie for myself, by guessing everything within the first 10 seconds. Still, knowing what or who the killer is, doesn’t spoil the fun, as The Initiation serves up enough slasher mayhem and a dash of nudity, to stand out in a sea of red. The acting is above par for a stab-athon, or in The Initiation’s case, a spear gun-athon or garden tool-athon movie in the 80s. You’ll have some familiar faces, such as Daphne Zuniga or Hunter Tylo, a girl who loves to bear it all (I could’ve sworn though in the shower scene, she was wearing a wig, but not on her head, if you know what I mean). Even the awesome Clu Gulager from A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge and The Return of the Living Dead, shows up for a bit.

Not much more can be said for The Initiation, as it’s a not a movie that I’m going to feverishly fight over and try to convince you to immediately go out and watch it, but I can say that if you have some time to kill, it isn’t a bad way to spend a night in. It’s up on Netflix, so it isn’t going to cost you anything. I say, if you have a hankering for some good fun, give it a try.

*Side note* What’s up with Kelly leaving her friend in the elevator to die horribly? Kind of a bitch thing to do if you ask me.


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Sophie Cormier
Sophie Cormier
10 years ago

hmm I have a guess who the killer is! lol

Michael Tatlock
10 years ago

I think you'll be surprised… unless you watch the movie that is.

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