Tragedy Girlsvia IMDb

Starring: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Jack Quaid, Kevin Durand
Director: Tyler MacIntyre
Writer: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre

Review by: Sidney Morgan

This review absolutely CONTAINS SPOILERS. You’ve been advised.

Popular social media stars have one thing in common: lots of followers. Want to increase that popularity? Easy, just increase the number of followers. But the landscape is flooded with competing sites and aspiring stars. So how does a newcomer stand a chance? Well, creativity and originality help. And for Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand – Deadpool, The Exorcist) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp – X-Men Apocalypse), the minds behind @TragedyGirls, a blog dedicated to following a string of recent murders in their hometown, this leads them to an interesting idea. A crazy, ludicrous, over the top idea! Why not kidnap the killer and begin to commit the murders yourself? There is no better way to get the inside scoop, no? Just imagine the journey into the killer’s psyche you could give your followers. Unquestionable logic, right? Well, our two main characters think so. And lo and behold, it works!

Sadie and McKayla are hilarious! They’re not your typical slasher movie girls who act helpless and are killed. The girls are smart, they’re confident, and they’re funny, even if a little inexperienced (a little more on that later). They’re the better version of Billy Loomis and Stuart Macher (Scream). But don’t get fooled. Though they’re likable, they’re undeniably villains. They’re sociopaths, callously talking about murder and death. And it’s perfect!

McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) and Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) via IMDb

When the girls are at home, with their parents, or at school with various ‘friends,’ they are sort of normal. They’re polite with their parents. At school, they’re members of the prom committee and the cheerleading squad. They don’t stand out, nor fit in. These scenes just aren’t that interesting, serving only to highlight how self absorbed and selfish they are, and makes it a little awkward to root for them. However, in the scenes where they engage in various activities for the sake of their blog, the girls, the comedy, and frankly the movie, shine.

Sadie and McKayla are inexperienced killers (hence their plan to make Lowell their Yoda). Whenever they commit the murders, there are situational and conversational moments that are hilarious. For example, instead of feeling remorse after killing someone, the two girls are upset the death is ruled to be an accident, not murder. In front of another victim, McKayla’s shoes are discussed, a bigger issue than the impending murder. Tyler MacIntyre deftly juxtaposes horrific actions with comedy and turns what could have been a complete cliché into something different and fresh.

Other positives? There’s a great supporting cast, in particular, Craig Robinson (The Office), Kevin Durand (The Strain) and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Future Man) who successfully overacts to play this free-thinking, philosophizing soul. Absolutely priceless! And the special effects, which relied on practical effects rather than CGI were well done.

via IMDb

Intentional or not, there’s even a “here’s a moral to this story” moment. As the community deals with the murders, a teacher, frustrated by Sadie and Mckayla’s obsession to grow their blog, discusses the dark side of social media, suggesting it can breed narcissism, shallowness, sociopathy and parasitic behaviours, as it tends to feed off of the misery of others. And there’s an argument to be made that this is true, but news flash! It’s too late! The girls don’t care. At all. They’re beyond redemption and certainly aren’t seeking it. It’s what makes the movie work.

A few things, albeit minor, were bothersome. First, why make the girls weaken at the knees when in the presence of boys they ‘like’? Why? WHY? Sadie and McKayla are anything but normal and having them flutter their eyelashes, (yep, literally) at boys wasn’t necessary, even if a few funny moments come out of it. And what about the plot, which is as holey as Swiss cheese. Do the police in this community not realize the importance of clues? You know, like fingerprints? Cellphone records? Do they not wonder how some of the information is being leaked? Granted, it does let the girls conduct their business unimpeded, but it cheapens them a bit to have their success contingent on the stupidity of others. And finally, what happened to the ‘Yoda’ storyline? (Though ignoring that one did conveniently work out at the end).

via IMDb

Verdict: Watch it! There are elements of various horror movies here, and you’ll recognize some of the more obvious ones. A great throwback to the 80’s and 90’s slasher movies, it’s fun entertainment. The humour, albeit dark, is laugh out loud funny. This movie merited a wider theatrical release as it really offers a fun take on the slasher genre.

Available on Digital + VOD now and Blu-Ray / DVD on Feb 9th.


Sidney Morgan

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