Ever since the beginning days of the internet, horror films have been trying to find an opportunity to utilize it in an interesting way. There results have been anywhere from terrible (Hellraiser: Hellworld, Feed) to the not great, but perfectly watchable range (Kairo, Unfriended). I was a little worried after seeing the trailer and started to think it was going to be an already outdated take on social media and celebrity. To my own shock, it went the opposite route and the filmmakers decided to use it to serve the story, without making it the focal point. They didn’t get bogged down in annoying scenes of fake apps or tech talk, instead they were focused on making a smart comedy that was both bloody and funny.
Tragedy Girls follows two teen girls (played by Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandria Shipp) who are desperate to get their true crime reality show on the map. We learn quickly that they aren’t above getting their hands dirty to get the scoop on the story. As the bodies start to pile up, so does their clout and media attention.
Tyler McIntyre’s sophomore effort is a great lampooning of celebrity culture, but plays in the teen realm a little too much for me. I hate to sound “too old” for a movie, but I just have a hard time relating to these whip-smart teens. Outside of me being an old man, this is still a clever, quick paced horror film that doesn’t shy away from some pretty intense gore. When people die, the gore is surprisingly realistic and much nastier than I expected.
What is most unique about Tragedy Girls is how they frame the teenage leads. The emphasis is on their relationship to each other and doesn’t fall into the usual trappings of boy talk. The two adopt a 21st century version of manic girl-power that is refreshing and fun. When the girls do interact with the male characters it is very secondary to the story and usually serves a comedic purpose. I have no doubt that this movie will slay when it is released and I can’t wait to revisit this film again, with a crowd.