top of page

FILM REVIEW: Founder's Day (2023)

Founder's Day - New Release Review

Director: Erik Bloomquist

Starring: Naomi Grace, Devin Druid, Amy Hargreaves, Jayce Bartok, Emilia McCarthy, Olivia Nikkanen

Written by: Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist

Produced by: Erik Bloomquist, Carson Bloomquist, Adam Weppler

Cinematography by: Mike Magilnick

Original Score by: Tim Williams


A small town is shaken by a series of ominous killings in the days leading up to a heated mayoral election.

Founder's Day Film Review


It's almost impossible to make a modern day teen slasher film set in small town US of A without it simply becoming a 'Scream' copycat and sadly 'Founder's Day' barely even tries to show any originality to distant itself from Wes Craven's classic. Instead it just looks like a generic bread and butter franchise sequel.

In the quaint town of Fairwood a hotly contested mayoral campaign is deep in its final act and like real life both candidates are willing to do almost anything to get one up on each other. There's the current Mayor Blair Gladwell, a strong yet strangely unstable female role model whose slogan batters home the importance of consistency and then there's the opposition Harold Faulkner, who initially comes across as a tunnel-visioned robot with perhaps even a sleazy side. No doubt both are decent candidates for the big job but also like real life, both are pretty lousy human beings.

Our introduction to Faulkner is a heated conversation between him and his daughter Melissa (Olivia Nikkanen) in which he is berating her on the way she looks and how it will negatively affect his campaign. And shortly after this interaction Melissa becomes the first victim of a psychotic, masked serial killer in a nifty judge's wig. She's murdered in front of her lover Allison (Naomi Grace), who manages to escape from the killer and runs into town for help. This incident kicks off a chain of paranoia in the small town and lights a rocket under an already feisty election as both candidates eventually use the subsequent murders to gain advantage in the election race.

Founder's Day Film Review

As with most who-dun-it slashers the bodies soon begin to pile up and characters soon begin to turn on each other, questioning every single move and motive. The problem with 'Founder's Day' is that there's no likeable characters at all. I suppose Allison is our protagonist but we don't really spend that much time with her early on and we don't get any in-depth backstory into the town's lore. It's all glossed over casually which really doesn't help us to leave our logic at the front door as we enter this madhouse. I mean, nonsensical fun and horror movies just go together but you gotta back it up with some sort of believable story. It does feel like the film at least makes an attempt at satire but it sort of falls flat.

The film looks good for the most part although there are some questionable editing choices and I feel it suffers a little bit perhaps from a lack of blocking. The comedy elements don't really land and the dialogue at times is appallingly asinine. The acting sort of drifts into parody at times too. There's a scene involving the Mayor at a town meeting that is laughable for the wrong reasons.

Some of the scenes felt very rushed and the killer reveal is absolutely one of the most anti-climatic reveals I've ever seen in any of these who-dun-it slashers. It was really lacklustre and I'm not buying the 'Scream' homages, the killer does a whole quasi-maniacal monologue in a black caped, black gloved outfit and then, to be a little bit spoilery here, there's a second reveal after this that just made me roll my eyes even more.

Naomi Grace as Allison in Founder's Day

There's no scares but some of the kills are pretty gruesome even if they are all just a bit stabby stabby and there's a few scenes that are quite tense. I just couldn't get passed the blatant copy and paste attributes in the film. There's even a very Marco Beltrami-esque musical cue in the wake of one of the murders. If you're a hardcore slasher fan you might be all over this but unfortunately 'Founder's Day' is bland and forgetful and is essentially a cheaper, far less entertaining version of 'Thanksgiving'.

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️

-Gavin Logan

'Founder's Day' is available on UK Digital Platforms April 29th and US Digital on 7th May

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page