For his third feature film, independent horror writer/director Troy Escamilla is taking us back to high school.
The original part here is that it isn’t the pupils on the chopping block this time around – it’s their teachers!
There are plenty of homages to classic slashers from the 1980s, with winks to films such as Prom Night, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and even the more recent Halloween (2018).
The synth score certainly fits this era and helps to create mood before striking into gear when the bloodshed begins.
Given its limited budget, Escamilla has crafted an excellent body count movie with a narrative maybe slightly predictable, but yet this does not distract from how the story unfolds.
Interestingly the director has chosen to add more LGBT characters into the mix, making this a refreshing change from the tried and tested tropes of slashers of yesteryear.
He also pays tribute to Giallo cinema with effective use of lighting when characters are in peril.
As with most independent horror projects, Teacher Shortage relies on practical effects for some elaborate kill sequences but I have to say they turned out great.
For 80’s aficionados, we also have cameos from Brinke Stevens (Slumber Party Massacre) and Tamara Glynn (Halloween 5), who both play an integral role in the overall plot.
Teacher Shortage certainly shows the growth Escamilla has made since his last feature Stirring, and it will interesting to see if he stays in slashers in the future or ventures into new horror territory.