Tragedy Girls (Movie Review)

Tragedy Girls (Movie Review)
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PLOT: Two death-obsessed teenage girls use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.

REVIEW: Horror and comedy are both notoriously hard genres to pull off. That said, I am happy to report that Tyler MacIntyre's TRAGEDY GIRLS succeeds at both. Is the movie perfect? No, but it has more than enough moments of inspired semi-genius to make for a killer night at the movies. And one that you'll likely revisit for equal blasts time and time again.

The film starts off strong, to say the least. We open on a desolate bridge in the middle of a cornfield in the dead of night. Fog creeps across the land as if waiting for Vincent Price's cackle to awaken the dead. We then land on a lone car parked on said bridge, cutting inside to find, you guessed it, two teens making out. Stop me if you've heard this one. Luckily, that's about the time the film becomes anything but a cliche.

The teen girl making out in the car is played by Brianna Hildebrand aka Negasonic Teenage Warhead from DEADPOOL and she asks her boy toy to step out of the car to investigate a strange noise. No sooner does the young man step out of his bitchin' Cuda then he gets a machete in the face courtesy of a bulking slasher reminiscent of Marcus Nispel’s 2009 Jason Voorhees - baghead and all. The slasher then stalks after our blonde lead only to be caught in a trap by our "helpless" blonde and her BFF played by Alexandra Shipp aka Storm from X-MEN: APOCALYPSE. The two then kidnap the masked slasher, unmask him and the movie shoots off from there in directions that will constantly surprise you.

I'm not going to go any further into the plot other than to point out the obvious: this is a film about typical teen slasher victims who turn the tables and become the slashers themselves. This is the plot of the film, not a spoiler. Our two charming heroines then go about pulling off a slasher spree for the history books. And let me not forget to mention as soon as possible that this film is truly funny. Mostly the film captures a charming wit and colorfulness that keeps a smile on your face, but there are moments that are so deeply funny that you'll be hitting the jump back button more than a few times.

The major hero here is the film's screenplay. Witty in all the right places, but also sincere in a deeply disturbing and dark fashion. How a slasher-comedy manages to have this much heart is a joy all on its own. But the screenplay is only marginally the best thing this film has going for it. The directing is constantly inspired in an Edgar Wright-in-training fashion that never feels annoying or (relatively) over the top. Tyler MacIntyre gets the mixture of horror and comedy and understands that strategically placed music and bright colors can dull the horrific actions on screen, which by the way are plentiful. The movie has more than its share of dark and disturbing violence, but as I mentioned the director keeps it all within the realm of good times by presenting the action through the lens of a teen girl's candy-colored fantasy of a serial killer spree and doesn't dwell on the harsh realities too often, unless it is for dramatic heft.

And let's not forget what will go down as the film's main draw and keep viewers coming back again and again; our lead duo of Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp. These actresses steal the show and are so endlessly charming and sport such snappy comic timing that they catapult this minor victory of a movie into full-on classic territory. Don't be surprised if these girls catch on with the mainstream crowd and become the go-to Halloween costumes for teen girl BFF's. And there is nothing wrong with that!

In the end, TRAGEDY GIRLS is just what we look for in a horror-comedy. Gore up the wazoo, charismatic leads, and a fast, fun pace. Recently I peeped Netflix's THE BABYSITTER and thought that film killed it in the horror-comedy arena. But TRAGEDY GIRLS gives it a true run for its money. So if you dug THE BABYSITTER and have a sweet spot for flicks like SCREAM, HEATHERS, DETENTION, not to mention films like MEAN GIRLS and CLUELESS, then make sure to add TRAGEDY GIRLS to your must-see list as soon as possible. You're in for a killer treat. Or two.

Extra Tidbit: TRAGEDY GIRLS hits theaters October 20, 2017.
Source: AITH

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