By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Hazing and harassment get horrific in the film that played last year’s SXSW, Screamfest, FrightFest and Sitges.
INITIATION (previously titled DEMBANGER) will be released to select theaters and VOD/digital platforms May 7 by Saban Films. Directed by John Berardo from a script he wrote with Brian Frager and Lindsay LaVanchy, based on his DEMBANGER short film, it stars Jon Huertas, Isabella Gomez, Lavanchy, Froy Gutierrez, Gattlin Griffith, Patrick Walker, Bart Johnson, Shireen Lai, Kent Faulcon, Yancy Butler and Lochlyn Munro. The synopsis: “During a university’s pledge week, the carefree partying turns deadly serious when a star athlete is found impaled in his dorm. The murder ignites a spree of sinister social-media messages, sweeping the students and police into a race against time to uncover the truth behind the school’s dark secrets…and the horrifying meaning of a recurring symbol: a single exclamation mark.”