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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

April Fool's Day

1986 | United StatesCanada | 89 min | More...
A still from April Fool's Day (1986)
D+: 2 stars (out of 5)
on Sat Apr 01, 2023

Several college students gather at a classmate’s island estate for a weekend getaway, only to fall victim to an unseen killer.

Less horror and more whodunit, the charming cast and atmospheric locations almost compensate for the porous script. Almost.

A good whodunit keeps us guessing as it doles out clues in a fair but prudent manner. The script for April Fool’s Day drops so many obvious hints to the killer’s identity early we spend the film waiting for the characters to deduce what we already know.

Imagine a magician disappearing their assistant, then spending eighty minutes insisting said assistant has vanished before they reappear. We’ve seen the trick and how it ends.

To be fair, the cast makes those eighty minutes pleasant. Tom Wilson proves a standout as a popped collar “bro” who proves his own biggest fan, but the entire young cast surprises. I found them the most engaging group of victims since Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

I’d love to see this cast with a better script. One featuring a more captivating mystery or a more memorable antagonist.

Perhaps the film’s obviousness was intentional, to distract from the twist ending. But said twist proves so improbable and devoid of clues, no one would have guessed it. Indeed, one is best off not giving it too much thought, lest it fall apart at the slightest introspection.

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Sat Apr 01, 2023 via Blu-ray (Shout Factory, 2020)