Tragedy Girls Review: Two best friends find their friendship tested as their desire for internet stardom puts them face-to-face with a local maniac.
McKayla and Sadie are BFF’s with a disturbing social media obsession. Determined to be ‘instafamous’, the girls run a blog about a local string of gruesome murders. After realising that their follower count is low, the pair track down the serial killer and take matters into their own hands, generating a furry of deaths that get the whole town talking, but is fame really worth all this work?
Usually a teen slasher movie would feature a teenage girl as the prime choice of victim, Tragedy Girls spins that convention on its head, the girls being the hunters. It’s a refreshing angle on a tried and tested genre, and injects some much needed newness. But that’s not where the innovation stops, there’s a fun and vibrant atmosphere to the whole film, one that doesn’t feel tacky or forced.
Tonally, Tragedy Girls is essentially Heathers meets Scream, with a dash of Mean Girls; in short, it’s teen movie gold.This is a black comedy teen slasher that, much like the already mentioned Heathers, has a lot of fun with the teen’s murder spree. There’s not quite as much morality on display here though, rather than having a Veronica and JD, here there are two JD’s. And instead of the Bonnie and Clyde nature of Veronica and JD, there’s much more of a Thelma and Louise vibe to the pair.
Our duo of deadly leading ladies are played by two actresses with links to the X-Men universe, Alexandra Shipp (Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse) and Briannna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool). Both are strong characters and shine independently, as well as together. The chemistry between them is great and you instantly believe that they’ve known each other for years.
There’s also great supporting turns from both Kevin Durand (I am Number Four) and Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), as well as a brilliant scene steal from The Hunger Games‘ Josh Hutcherson. Hutcherson plays the school heartthrob with a tongue firmly in cheek and a sly wink to camera. He knows he’s sending up both the stereotype and some of his previous roles, and he’s clearly having fun with it.
A quirky and venom-filled teen ‘comedy’, Tragedy Girls will appeal to teenagers, especially girls everywhere. It’s the horror version of Mean Girls that you didn’t know you wanted. It’s sure to become a cult teen sensation much like both Scream and The Craft. This is a film that brings back the teen slasher fun of yesteryear for the social media generation.
Tragedy Girls review by Kat Hughes, July 2017
Tragedy Girls is currently playing at the Fantasia International Film Festival.