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‘Paintball Massacre’ review: Over the top comedy horror is familiar fun

Paint it red.

Paintball Massacre is a British comedy horror with a title that will clue audiences in to its premise. A class reunion leads to a game of paintball. Unfortunately, a masked killer also joins the group leading to a battle for survival. There is a familiarity to the film that is very inviting. Jessica Bentley (Cheryl Burniston) attends the reunion though it’s her fiancé that is the one who was invited. When he does not show up, she is left to hang out with people she does not like and do not like her.

The characters from Paintball Massacre are easily identified. They are a mix of mean comments and selfish attitudes. The difference is the kindly Nathan (Lee Latchford-Evans) whom Jessica does not remember. As the group start being killed one by one, suspicions arise. Paintball Massacre throws out the expected prime suspects – the absent fiancé  being the primary one.

An important part of horror comedy is gore. There are a number of deaths in the movie and each one is gleefully gory. The kills in Paintball Massacre are over the top and original. One downside is audiences are the end result of many of the deaths. For example, an impaled body is shown, but the actual act is heard but not seen.

The comedy parts are not as strong. There are some really good one liners and Natasha Killip is a lot of fun as self centered model Lauren Bryce. Unlike the kills, there are no stand out moments, however. The plot of Paintball Massacre is of the run of the mill slasher variety. Character backstories are filled in as the group tries to get away. Secrets and possible motivations are revealed. For better and worse, there are no surprises to be found.

Comedy horror movies tend to work best in the extremes. Overblown violence and extravagant jokes are the norm. The trick is finding the right mix. If one overtakes the other, the atmosphere is completely thrown off. Paintball Massacre is able to combine the two well even if the comedy does not land as well as the horror. It may not offer anything new, but there is some silly fun.

British comedy action wears influences on sleeve

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