All Girls Weekend Movie Review
Written by Greg Fisher
Released by Uncork'd Entertainment
Written and directed by Lou Simon
2016, 85 minutes, Rated R
Released on VOD on July 12th, 2016 | DVD released on September 6th, 2016
Jamie Bernadette as Nancy
Katie Carpenter as Daniela
Gema Calero as Gem
Sharron Calvin as Annie
Karishma Lakhani as Stephanie
It would be an empowering thing to say that in her fourth film Lou Simon is paving the way for women behind the camera in the horror genre. However, if she has learned anything about horror filmmaking during her first three films, that new knowledge does nothing to save All Girls Weekend from being a mindless, boring, and truly forgettable flick. Sadly, she seems to think herself an auteur to be dealt with, so far so that she intentionally prominently displays a poster of this very movie on the wall of a character's house during one of the first scenes of the movie.
Blame can be placed on every last person involved with this movie. Most importantly, no one bothered to explain to Lou Simon that her script should never be produced. The characters are flatter than any page in the script, the story is beyond laughable, and the dialogue appears to have been Simon's attempt to prove that she is smarter than a fifth grader. She failed. Characters narrate what they are doing, repeat each other's names constantly and at no point speak like a grownup would speak. Their characterization is never drawn further than bland white girl, bitchy angry white girl, black girl, Indian girl, and Hispanic girl. If she had taken all of the worst parts of The Edge, The Descent, and The Grey, spliced them together, and had a middle school drama club perform it after barely reading the script, that movie could possibly be worse than this, but only by a little. One character dies from a wound that bled just enough to leave a four inch stain on her pants. Another character dies when she falls into a pile of leaves. Had it not been so obvious that the director thought this film was so very serious, the audience could believe this was a spoof film instead of just a terrible film.
The camerawork is handled with all of the care of a toddler with a hammer. Early indoor shots are overlit, overexposed, and generally give the feeling of a Youtube video. The fades used between scenes were likely stolen from an early 1990's floppydisk from a Wang computer. When those aren't used, the sudden, jarring cuts remind the viewer of a poorly produced tv movie. The most egregious insult made against the audience is in a scene where a bear finds on of the characters in the woods and kills her. Neither are on screen together, because Simon found it easier to intersperse cuts of his actress running away with stock footage of a bear. We hear the actress scream off screen, letting us know there will be one less bad actress onscreen from there on.
Katie Carpenter, as main character Annie, has all the spice of boiled cabbage. Her main antagonist, Nancy, is clearly a bad girl thanks to her short hair, leather jacket, penchant for smoking, and her love of flipping everyone off at least once every ten minutes. Sharron Calvin's Annie apparently was given the direction to act like Marion Ramsey in Police Academy. She whispers lines so softly one couldn't be blamed for thinking something was wrong with the audio mix. Sadly, the other two actresses are such non-entities in this flick that there is nothing much to say about them.
Lou Simon set out to make a statement with All Girls Weekend, but the only one she made was that she has plenty of work to do moving forward if she wants to be a force to be reckoned with in the genre.