FrightFest Review: The Retaliators


Bishop bent on revenge

While vengeance might be a dish best served cold it’s more than likely that a wounded party will prefer a steaming-hot meal. It doesn’t matter how laidback someone is or what their beliefs are, we all have a ‘temperature gauge’. Pacifist or not, when pushed past the point of no return we can easily revert back to the animalistic as the red mist descends. In The Retaliators, a grieving father must wrestle with his conscience to try and control his base instincts.

After being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Sarah Bishop (Katie Kelly) is viciously murdered by a psychopath (Joseph Gatt) who is embroiled in a gang war. Her father (Michael Lombardi) is devastated and this loss takes over every aspect of his life. When he’s approached by the lead investigator (Marc Menchaca) with an offer he can’t refuse, Bishop begins a descent into the underworld.

What makes The Retaliators stand-out from similar revenge horrors is its wholly singular approach to the subject. Indeed, to say there’s never a dull moment would be a gross understatement. Samuel Gonzalez Jr. and Bridget Smith’s film doesn’t give its audience any breathing space, constantly chopping between perspectives and timelines. Initially bewildering, The Retaliators grows to be a blunt, bloody and brutally bombastic slice of genre cinema which is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

The Retaliators screens at FrightFest.

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