TADFF 2017: Tragedy Girls
There is a serial killer running around in Sadie Cunningham (Deadpool’s Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla Hooper (X-Men Apocalypse’s Alexandra Shipp)’s town, but the two teenagers are not afraid. In fact, they are downright excited. Creators of the Tragedy Girls crime blog, which covers local murders, the duo sees this as their opportunity to go viral. Setting a trap for the killer (Kevin Durand), Sadie and McKayla have no intentions of turning him into the police, instead they want to learn from him.
Aspiring to become famous serial killers themselves, Sadie and McKayla quickly learn that killing is not as hard as getting recognition for the murders. As the body count rises, and panic sets in within the community, the teens find themselves becoming media sensations. However, the sudden attention to their blog, and Sadie’s growing feelings for Jordan Welch (Jack Quaid), who happens to be the son of the police chief investigating the murders, begins to impact both their plans and their friendship.
Embracing the blend of dark comedy and genuine love for the horror genre that made Scream so popular the 90’s, Tyler Macintyre’s Tragedy Girls is a delight from beginning to end. Macintyre’s film is a smart and witty ode to slasher films that effectively brings it into a modern context. Through inspired cameos by Josh Hutcherson and Craig Robinson, the film effectively conveys how our obsession with social media and celebrity is more disturbing than anything in horror movies. As we see through Sadie and McKayla, the quest for “likes” and “retweets” has made us not only apathetic to the plight of others, but more willing to capitalize on their pain as well.
Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp are delightful as the lifelong friends with a twisted streak. Their sly delivery, especially when some of the murders don’t go as plan, and overall exuberance help to sell the Heathers style moments in the film. While the last act does not carry the same level of energy as everything that came before it, there is more than enough in the film that will have one coming back for more. Smart, darkly funny, and unique in its own right, Tragedy Girls the is the bloody gift that keeps on giving.
Friday, October 20, 9:15 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Friday, October 20, 11:59 PM, Scotiabank Theatre
Ticket information can be found at the Toronto After Dark website.