Tragedy Girls Movie Review
Written by Karin Crighton
Released by Gunpowder & Sky
Directed by Tyler MacIntyre
Written by Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, and Justin Olson
2017, 98 Minutes, Rated R
Theatrical release on October 20th, 2017
Brianna Hildebrand as Sadie Cunningham
Alexandra Shipp as McKayla Hooper
Jack Quaid as Jordan Welch
Kevin Durand as Lowell
Aspiring social media stars Sadie and McKayla are lifelong friends, close as sisters and operating with a hive-mind...of evil. Their Twitter, Tumblr, and blog are all devoted to mourning classmates who perish under tragic circumstances, and they feed off the likes and shares. But when those channels aren't getting enough likes, they decide to take matters into their own hands: by causing some tragedies. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and soon Sadie and McKayla are the ones running for their lives. Can they survive? Can their friendship? And can they just agree on gold balloons for the prom? High school is not easy for the Tragedy Girls.
Tragedy Girls is by no means cerebral, but it's not dull. The dialogue seems mostly improv and the leads actresses toss quips around easily. Alexandria Shipp (playing McKayla) particularly shines, garnering empathy for what should be a despicable person. The murder scenes are gruesome, but due to the ineptness of two seventeen-year-olds trying to kill adults they're often comical as well.
The art direction provides a needed step-up for this movie. Likes and hearts timed with stylized entrances, animated cutouts of serial killer facts, and the way light plays on knives elevates what could be a silly teen movie to a slightly higher plane. There's a beautiful sequence where dropped coffee mixes with blood like a symphony. Speaking of, the music is spot on for every scene; the soundtrack alone is catchy and dark.
You couldn't say this film has morality, but it has a juxtaposed mournful levity that suits the subject matter. The ending is somewhat unsatisfactory; the happiness and optimism of the wrap up is grim and uneasy knowing what must lie ahead. It is curious why this movie ends with such an upbeat tone seeing the shocking horror that lay before. It could be a set up for a sequel. Or it could be that we rarely see the justice in the real world, so why put it in a movie?
Tragedy Girls is a fun, peppy, fashionable horror flick but don't expect to learn anything from this high school movie.