What happens in a small town, stays in a small town. When a mayoral race for the ages is only a matter of days away, the stakes are turned all the way up when a mysterious killer begins targeting the residents of a picture-perfect town.
Co-written by brothers Erik and Carson Bloomquist (She Came from the Woods, Ten Minutes To Midnight), with E. Bloomquist directing, Founders Day is the latest addition to the duo’s slew of horror flicks. The film stars Naomi Grace, Devin Druid (13 Reasons Why), Andrew Stuart-Jones, Amy Hargreaves (13 Reasons Why) and William Russ (Boy Meets World).
Founders Day premiered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival in August 2023, with additional screenings at the UK’s FrightFest in August and the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in October. The film currently has a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Founders Day follows the story of small town Fairwood, during what seems to be their most intense mayoral election yet. Mayor Blair Gladwell is fighting for her re-election while her opponent, Harold Faulkner, is hoping to push her out of office. Both are running on completely opposite campaign promises; Gladwell is a vote for consistency while Faulkner is a vote for change. However, the election process has put their collective three children at odds and the town is divided by uncertainty. With everyone already at odds, a mysterious resident’s death pushes Fairwood to its limits. Will the town be able to come together as one to put a stop to the evil that is overtaking their home or will the killer reign victorious after all?
Founders Day is a thrilling, thought-provoking slasher that causes audiences to think about the political ideologies that the film explores. As much as it serves as a loose history lesson, the movie includes many twists and turns that keep viewers wondering who the killer is until the very end. The cast is comprised of many young actors, who do an admirable job of portraying their characters.
Although there are quite a few slasher clichés throughout the film, with many similarities to the Scream franchise, Founders Day adds its own twist to the genre. Its political commentary is smart and adds a strong backbone to the motivation behind the killings. It also has a surprisingly well-executed element of surprise, with audiences being tugged in every direction when it comes to revealing the next layer of information.
At times, the movie is extremely graphic and the killings have a slightly humorous element behind them, with the judge-dressed killer’s weapon of choice being a gavel.
The set is perfectly designed to resemble a crisp, beautiful autumn. There is no shortage of red, orange and yellow leaves lying on the short, green grass and the sunny weather suggests that the season has yet to begin its transition into the chilly winter months. The high school hallways are lit with yellow-tinted fluorescent lights and the classroom desks are evenly lined up in short, narrow rows. The most popular destination for after-school hangouts and parties is the old-fashioned movie theatre, and even the homes appear to be straight out of a Hallmark Channel film. It’s everything that a quaint, quiet town is described to be. Little does Fairwood know they have yet to experience the tragic events that will change their community’s future forever.
Even if politics aren’t your niche, the film doesn’t require viewers to have extensive knowledge on the topic in order to understand its plot. If you’re a horror lover who is seeking their next big scare, Founders Day is not a film to overlook.
Keep an eye out for an official public release date for Founders Day.