Founder’s Day – Toronto After Dark 2023

TADFF 2023 Review Founder's Day
The Bloomquist Brothers clearly intend this to be the next iconic slasher franchise, but despite a glossy presentation and increasingly gory kills, the film is hurt greatly by a poorly written script featuring cheesy dialogue and most characters being eye-rolling caricatures.

Founder’s Day – Toronto After Dark 2023

Runtime: 01:46
A small town is shaken by a series of ominous killings in the days leading up to a heated mayoral election.

A small town amid a mayoral election is terrorized by a judge-dressed killer in Founder's Day. While amid its tricentennial anniversary, the small town of Fairwood is amid a bitter mayoral election between incumbent Blair Gladwell () and her opponent Harold Faulkner (). Allison Chambers () is terrorized to see her girlfriend and Faulkner's daughter, Melissa (), attacked and thrown off a bridge by a masked individual wearing judge's robes and carrying a bladed gavel. This throws the town and election into chaos, with the list of prospective suspects (and victims), including Melissa's brother Adam (), Gladwell's daughter, and Adam's ex-girlfriend, Lily (Emilia McCarthy), local troublemaker Rob Donahue (), and bullying couple Britt (Kate Edmonds) and Tyler (Dylan Slade).

Founder's Day Synopsis

Founder's Day is a politically charged slasher film from director Erik Bloomquist and his co-writer brother Carson. In the film, the town of Fairwood is terrorized by a serial killer on the eve of its tricentennial Founder's Day and the election to decide a new mayor. As the survivor of the initial attack by “The Founder,” Allison is questioned by lollipop-sucking police chief Judith Peterson (Stranger Things) and comforted by her father Thomas (). Allison has been planning to leave Fairwood, much to the disappointment of her history teacher, Mr. Jackson (). However, the killings in the town continue, and Allison finds herself in the middle of the carnage.

My Thoughts on Founder's Day

It is quite apparent that the Bloomquist Brothers intend Founder's Day to be the start of the next iconic slasher film franchise, clearly inspired by Scream, with the film having a quite glossy presentation and murder setpieces featuring some increasingly gory kills, including a particularly nasty one involving a letter opener. However, Founders Day is hurt greatly by an incredibly poorly written script that comes off as incredibly cheesy and cringe-inducing. Only a handful of characters, such as protagonist Allison and her teacher and council member Mr. Jackson, feel like human beings. In contrast, others come across major caricatures, resulting in much eye-rolling by me. It's a shame because I wanted to like Founder's Day more.

Trailer for Founder's Day – Toronto After Dark 2023

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.