Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tragedy Girls (2017)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Tragedy Girls (2017)
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Crime
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: It's The Comeback Kids, New Artist Pictures, Ardor Pictures, Dawn's Light, Living the Dream Films, Gunpowder & Sky
Director: Tyler McIntyre
Writer: Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre, Justin Olson
Actors: Brianna Hildebrand, Alexandra Shipp, Jack Quaid, Kevin Durand, Timothy V. Murphy, Katie Stottlemire, Nicky Whelan, Elise Neal, Craig Robinson, Andy Bethea, Keith Hudson, Savannah Jayde, Austin Abrams, William Tokarsky, Marycarmen Lopez, Loren Lester, Rosalind Chao, Kerry Rhodes, Cameron Van Hoy

Blurb from IMDb: A twist on the slasher genre, following two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy, and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m a little torn with Tragedy Girls.

I was really looking forward to this film. I remember the trailers well. They were funny and strange… everything I want in a horror comedy. And the feel of this movie isn’t much different than the trailers portrayed.

It was funny with some very clever moments and decent acting – for what it was. (It’s important to remember that certain characters and scenes are supposed to feel off, cringey, or cheesy.)

It’s difficult to make the antagonists of any film the main character, but Tragedy Girls mostly succeeds in it. You never really want the girls to reach their goal or feel any sympathy for them – but you feel like a fly on the wall getting to see their adventure from their perspective.

Just keep in mind, it’s not like a Thanos situation where you can understand their motivation. It’s more like a psychological study of psychopaths. Voyeuristic, not immersive.

That said, I do have a couple of issues.

First of all, the trailers (and at least one of the movie posters) give away significant plot points. They reveal almost every single victim. As a result, there’s very little room for surprise. I HATE when production companies pull this shit. There were plenty of scenes that could have been used toward a trailer that wouldn’t have fucked with the experience of watching the movie.

Secondly, and I don’t have this issue very often, but I found Tragedy Girls to be a little tone-deaf.

If you’re a long-time reader, then you know me. I’m usually the first one to argue against that term. I’m a huge supporter of taking sensitive issues and putting them into movies or shows or books… really any creative project. It could be a great way to shine a light on subjects that are difficult to discuss. You can use comedy or shocking scenes to really get a point across.

The problem here comes from the way this film handled the ending. I can think of a few different endings that would have navigated the problem of tone much better without being typical.

I still feel like the term ‘tone-deaf’ is overused, but this time I don’t feel like I have much of a choice but to use it. In a country where we have a school violence epidemic – Tragedy Girls could have handled the subject better.

Aside from those issues, everything else was fine. I enjoyed the majority of the movie; it was really just the marketing and the ending I took issue with.

It could be a fun watch for adults, but I would carefully stick to the R-rating when it comes to teens.

Cat’s Point of View:
October 2017 was an interesting month for movies. Tragedy Girls appeared on both my Top 20 article and Selina’s personal list. Looking back, I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to see the film. Counting this one, I’ve seen 9 out of that list of 20 – and some of those multiple times… but I digress.

In retrospect, I might have listed this movie a little higher than the 15th spot that I gave it, but there was some stiff competition.

Overall, Tragedy Girls was successful in penning a bloody love letter to the horror genre. 

This was an interesting spin on a few of the standard tropes, with a light smattering of levity. I can’t say that I found a personal connection with the self-absorbed main characters and I wasn’t exactly rolling on the floor with laughter, but the message the movie delivered was definitely conveyed loud and clear.

As anticipated, this cast sold their roles amazingly well. Psychopaths, sociopaths, and social media: Oh my!

I can’t say that this film will land on my list of favorites, but it wasn’t a bad way to spend some time on a night cooped up indoors. It might be a fun one to include in a fall pre-Halloween lineup, as well.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 65%
Metascore – 58/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.0/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5
Movie Trailer:

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