The best films are those that place archetypes in familiar situations and then upends what is considered normal within the parameters of a genre and rattles the cage with a variable, that the audience, or the players in the film, don’t see coming. The short film Hazard accomplishes just that.
Hazard begins like any slasher film would with an unfortunate victim and his hunter, a masked madman wielding a knife. The scene ends just as you’d expect with the death of the victim at the hands of the killer. Soon after we’re thrust into a completely different scenario, almost unrelated it seems. What’s striking about the opening scene is that the murder happens in broad daylight and the subsequent scene takes place in the cover of night. A group of masked small town criminals ban together to pull off a crime, kidnapping a young couple in the process, interrogating them in a derelict shed. What no one knows is that the killer from the opening scene runs amok, searching for his next victims.
What starts off interesting enough is soon torn asunder and elevated when the film’s ultimate and unique reveal becomes apparent. This is when things really kick off throwing the whole scenario into disarray as mayhem ensues. The great thing about the film’s secret is that you won’t see it coming because we are given very little context going in, so the film’s mystery adds to an unpredictable reveal. From the beginning, you expect just another slasher flick, which it still is, but adds a new element of surprise that sets the film apart from the rest. Hazard manages to surprise and catch you off-guard in its brief 10-minute running time with plenty of blood for the slasher fan.
Hazard features Volumes of Blood alumni, the like of Jason Crowe (Volumes of Blood) and Shelby Taylor Mullins (Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories) with Sean Blevins (writer of the segment “Trick or Treat” in VOBHS) serving as co-writer. The film is directed and co-written by William Capps. The short film also stars Katie Stewart (Intrusion, The Wicked One) and Dale Miller (The Wicked One).