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Muffy St. John is rich and she is about to inherit an old house on an island. She decides throw a party to her pals from college in there on April Fool's day. But weird things soon start to happen, as someone has stored very different kind of April Fool pranks for the guests... And the subversions. Oh god, the subversions!
Got a loose remake in 2008.
- All Women Are Lustful: Judging by the kitchen conversation, Muffy, Kit and Nikki love lots and lots of sex. Even Nan, the supposedly repressed good girl got pregnant.
- April Fools' Day
- Book Ends: The jack-in-the-box appears in the opening credits and shows up again in the last scene.
- Bring My Brown Pants
- Camera Fiend: Chaz.
- Cat Scare: Skip is scared by a cat before he is attacked.
- Caught in a Snare: Arch when he is in the forest.
- Cerebus Callback: Inverted. The first time the jack-in-the-box is seen it scares Muffy with a lizard head and the second time it's just a clown.
- Closed Circle: The island.
- Country Mouse: Hal.
Kit: "And don't anyone say 'April Fools' again or I'll rip them apart!"
- Death by Sex
- Do Not Call Me Paul: It's not Harvey, it's Hal.
- Evil Twin: Muffy's "twin sister" Buffy who is really just Muffy. Skip is her twin though and is evil in the original book.
- Explosive Cigar: Harvey smokes one.
- Final Girl: Nan seems most likely to be this, then gets killed third. Kit then seems to be the Final Girl but of course it's subverted when everyone lives.
- Freudian Excuse: The jack-in-the-box moment that scared Clara in the flashback could explain her fascination with pranks.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday
- Insistent Terminology: See Do Not Call Me Paul above.
- Knife Nut
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Much of the scares are made of findings of corpses and severed heads.
- Portrait Painting Peephole: Kit and Rob find one in their room, but there is only cat-clock with moving eyes behind it. It later reappears in much less amusing fashion.
- Really Gets Around: Nikki. Sleeps with Chaz but is clearly up for sex with Arch later in the weekend, not to mention flirting openly with Hal.
- Red Herring: Buck ("They did it!") and Muffy's strange behaviour after the first night.
- The Reveal: It's all in the movie's name.
- Scary Jack in the Box: Muffy was given one when she was a child.
- Slashed Throat
- Slashers Prefer Blondes: Interesting case since all the female victims are blonde, including the Final Girl while Muffy is brunette. Of course then subverted when nobody gets killed at all.
- Ten Little Murder Victims
- The Dog Bites Back: Nan's little joke at the end.
- Wink Ding: Not actually a "ding", it's the film's leitmotif.
- Wolves Always Howl At the Moon: Subverted. It was Skip, drunk as hell.