Sunday, March 04, 2018

Kristy (2014)

I feel like sometimes the access to a location for a horror film has more weight to it than the actual plot. Like, they found out they could shoot on a college campus and then came up with an idea to suit the cool setting?

Kristy, directed by Olly Blackburn (who also did Donkey Punch) is similar to the vibe of You're Next or The Strangers, but it's not as well written. Instead of having the attacks be random acts of violence, there's an attempt, in an already pretty dated opening sequence involving the internet, passwords and messageboards (lol) to explain that this is some kind of cult where the members stalk and kill pretty young privileged girls in an effort to... symbolically kill God...?! Uh-huh. That face you are probably making right now is the face I made, too, and this was only about 4 mins into the movie, so I was braced for the worst.

The film takes place at a college over Thanksgiving weekend, where Justine (played with sleepy determination by Haley Bennett) is the only student spending the break on campus. While on a snack run to a local store, she's chosen as the next target by a masked, murderous gang. They keep calling her "Kristy", a code name for all of the cult's intended victims.

I'm going to put some of the blame on my being unable to fully concentrate on Kristy down to the fact I was watching it at midday. Watching horror films in broad, sunny daylight always feels out of place, right? But it wasn't all my poor timing; it was also that, aside from the climatic scene, this film just isn't all that good.

For one, a dog fucking dies, so that's a strike against it. How about we have a horror movie renaissance where that particular lazy, horrible narrative shortcut isn't used any more? Secondly, Justine as our lead and final girl survivor is tough to like, even if she is resourceful and strong. She's kind of one-note and dull as the back that carries the film.

The leader/controller of the gang (Ashley Greene) was a much more interesting character, and I would've been all over a film about her. Why she does this, what in her life brought her to a place of being in a killer cult? There are details about her that were deliberate choices, such as her painfully dry lips, multiple facial piercings and bad teeth. I want to know about her! That would be more interesting and original than another spin on a home invasion, where the victim grows from the experience and turns the tables. How many of those do we need, really??

IMDb recommends Bound To Vengeance at the bottom of its page for Kristy. Which kind of makes sense because I found that unremarkable, too. It also suggests The Den, which I never even made it through. So at least IMDb's algorithms are nailing it.

Steaming on Netflix now if you want to give it a whirl and prove me wrong!

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