Starring: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Josh Hutcherson, Nicky Whelan, Craig Robinson, Kevin Durand
Words: Manon Peyralade
This feature follows the story of two girls running a Twitter page documenting a killing spree in their hometown.
After the pair manages to catch the local serial killer, they figure out that starting their own murder spree could make them more than internet famous, but simply legends.
Entering the large group of meta-slashers, this millennial horror piece does not bring anything new to horror fans.
The film deals with the youth’s obsession with social media and the obsession with fame, aka “likes” online. Twitter is mentioned roughly every two minutes, in case we forgot what the film was about. Ironically, this social network overdose drowns the subject in itself, and the initial point of the film is quickly forgotten for more jokes and references.
The killing for frame trope was a feature of the Scream saga, including the social media aspect of it: Tragedy Girls seems like the long version of the ending of Scream 4.
In terms of meta-slasher with pop references and witty humour, Detention (dir. Joseph Kahn, 2011) did this much better. Trying to twist the slasher genre, but failing at doing so as the subject is not developed in depth, the film does not succeed in lasting memories. It seems that what we are left with is wondering what it all means, or if it even means anything at all.
The depiction of teenagers is stereotypical, and as a consequence none of the characters are really relatable. One flaw of the writing, which is likely on purpose, is that all the characters are stock characters. If pushed to the limit this technique can work, but in this case it only conveys a sense of shallowness and lack of authenticity.
Although, the film works as an entertaining comedy-slasher, and as a pastiche of horror films (Final Destination, Carrie, Saw, Scream and many others), and is a good choice if you’re in the mood for something light and easy to watch.
Tragedy Girls feels more like an imitation of popular horror films with a quite judgmental view of young people and social media.
One can also wonder how relevant this film will be in a few years once Twitter is dead and gone.