Director: AJ Wedding
Screenplay: Nathan Reid
Stars: Nathan Reid, Gabriel Tigerman, Luis Jose Lopez, Dante Spencer, Jen Yeager
The Jokesters sets up its story around a bunch of internet pranksters (think Jackass, CKY et al but without the budget or horse semen drinking) and when one of the group members gets married, the others decide to pull one final prank on the newly married couple – the ultimate scare - a cabin in the woods style prank, only more than a few things go wrong…
Ok, lets get this out of the way first, I hate and I mean HATE prank TV shows (or internet shows), all it involves is a bunch of annoying dickfaces that laugh at every infantile thing that happens, the fact The Jokesters (due to some spot on writing) nails these types of characters and that I didn’t turn the film off or put a fist through the screen is a miracle. The group Nick (Nathan Reid – who also wrote the screenplay), Andrew (Gabriel Tigerman), Chris (Luis Jose Lopez), Ethan (Dante Spencer) are the Master Pranksters and we are introduced to their antics through a fairly inventive opening montage and then move on to the wedding of Ethan but we are also privy to Nick setting up what he thinks will be the ultimate prank. He has organised for Ethan and his new bride Gabrielle (Jen Yeager) to go to his father’s cabin for a short honeymoon, little do they know that Nick and the other members of the group are preparing to scare them on a night that they wouldn’t forget.
For a horror film it takes a very, very considerable part of the run time to get to horror portion of the film, however when you get there it performs quite a few neat twists which keeps the film rolling along, even when the ending is a bit strange and underwhelming. The acting in The Jokesters is uniformly good, the interactions are all very natural and everyone is believable in their roles as the ‘Master Pranksters’ as a group they are very convincing as life-long friends which certainly helps the story.
The film is hand held footage, being that the whole premise is that the footage that is being captured is for the season finale of The Jokesters, it works in that context. It also helps with the budget restraints that are on show when the film finally starts getting bloody, with plenty happening off screen, which is in no way a criticism and plenty of hand held/found footage do the same. Director A.J Wedding does manage to invoke some heart in mouth moments despite going with the hand held angle.
In the end The Jokesters is actually a very competent and well-made film, it just takes such a long time for the action to start, you being to wonder if it ever will and then it is all over in about twenty minutes. With just a little bit more tension in the finale it may have really been that indie film that gains a bit through word of mouth, having said that though The Jokesters is still worth a watch.
The Jokesters is available now on DVD, Digital HD and On Demand
Images: IMDb & Allenfilmpublicity