‘Tragedy Girls’ Unleashes Just Enough Horror and Humor

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Tragedy Girls

One thing social media has shown us is the ability of countless people to find amazingly galling ways to inject themselves into tragedies, twisting the facts in order to make horrific events about themselves. That’s the starting point for the wild horror-comedy from director Tyler MacIntyre, Tragedy Girls. This twist on the slasher subgenre features plenty of bloody slayings and a vicious subversive streak that carries the film even when it seems like it may be losing a bit of momentum.

Tragedy Girls opens with Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) in the backseat of a car with a young man. The two teens are making out, steaming up the windows of the car in the darkened night. Then there’s a strange sound. Of course, the young woman asks the young man to inspect the sound. Anyone who knows horror movies knows that this isn’t a good sign for the horny teenager. You guessed it, he exits the car and is slashed to ribbons by a masked killer. Sadie flees in a panic with the slasher not far behind. However, Sadie and her best friend McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) have laid a trap for this killer who has been laying waste to the youths of this quaint suburban town. McKayla and Sadie will keep the killer (Kevin Durand) in captivity and use his previous murders and their social media presence to redefine the tragedy affecting their small town, turning themselves into horror legends as the bodies pile up around them.

All the hallmarks of a typical high school comedy are present for the devious duo at the heart of Tragedy Girls. There are crushes on boys and feuds with classmates. Eventually, a certain rift begins to emerge between the two leads. Sadie finds herself getting close to Jordan (Jack Quaid) and that’s a troubling revelation to McKayla considering his father is the town’s sheriff (Timothy V. Murphy). There’s also the local heartthrob Toby (Josh Hutcherson) who flirts with McKayla. What’s really most fascinating about everything that unfolds in Tragedy Girls is the sense of entitlement that is fostered within the two lead characters, as if they’re destined for social media fame because of the misery inflicted on others. It’s a cold cynicism that is a scathing critique of our current culture but exactly at the expense of simple, tired jokes about millennials.

Sometimes Tragedy Girls underwhelms in the humor department, with verbal barbs that aren’t as sharp as the knives used in some of the more gruesome moments of the film. However, those gruesome moments are often quite funny, MacIntyre, and co-writers Chris Lee Hill and Justin Olson, bringing forth some absurd moments of humor amidst some ghastly scenes of horror. The makeup effects on this modestly budgeted horror-comedy are top notch, and often the mayhem unleashed on the poor characters is shocking in its execution and unflinching in depiction.

Tragedy Girls doesn’t redefine its genre nor does really break new ground, but it’s an entertaining hybrid of horror and comedy. The two chief elements don’t always work in tandem, though that varies from scene to scene. I was left entertained by Tragedy Girls just enough to recommend it to those who fit into its niche audience of gorehounds looking for a demented laugh. Sometimes it feels like there are bigger ideas that were left by the wayside, but those are minor gripes for a movie that embraces its absurdity and delivers the bloody goods when necessary.

Tragedy Girls
  • Overall Score
3

Summary

A madcap mixture of horror and humor, Tragedy Girls does just enough with its concept to entertain throughout its ups and downs as a twisted take on high school angst and the social media age.

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