Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director: Tara Subkoff
Writer: Tara Subkoff
Let’s kick off this review by introducing you to the brats of this movie, who are Haley Murphy, Bridget McGarry, Sadie Seelert, Mina Sundwall, Emma Adler and Blue Lindeberg. If these hell-raising children don’t make you want and need to have kids, then my god, I have no idea what will. Next up we’ve got the parents in the movie, played by Jessica Blank, Chloë Sevigny, Sadie Seelert, Jessica Blank and Balthazar Getty.
This movie is about a group of wretched rich millennials (who have ridiculous attitudes, and can’t seem to look away from their cell phones) having a slumber party. One girl, Cat, invites the less wealthy and popular Sam to join them. These devil spawns are left all alone while Sophie’s (the daughter who is hosting the sleepover) mother is off to an AA meeting. It starts with simple, innocent, happy-go-lucky cyber-bullying with these kids, but is soon followed by murder and violence.
I will first #throw some cyber-punches at my iVictim (that’s how the kids talk these days, right?) and tell you what problems I had with this movie. First of all, this film desperately tries to pitch Cat’s father as a red herring, implying he’s the killer. This would be great and all, but where they went wrong was introducing Cat as a very mentally ill girl. How many red herrings and/or killers can one family contain? In earlier scenes you can clearly tell something is off and she is not right in the head, so when they were showing proof that it was her father I was not convinced. This movie also had a ‘social media’ concept, where the girls would upload all their photos. This is the most eye-piercing (as in: I want to pierce my eyes out) way to yank the viewer out of the movie. Whenever it shows them ‘uploading’ it’s obnoxiously vibrant, loud, and seems to take away from the movie. This brings me to my next issue: the title credits are not only too quick to read a damn name, it is in the same style of the social media site they upload to. It is very busy and way too much to take in for the one second they give you to read each name. Think if Microsoft Paint had a baby with Powerpoint Clip (and Word) Art and then they powdered it with a 9-year old learning how to use Windows Movie Maker. I also feel they had used so much of the movie trying to develop characters, but didn’t use any of that time to go into any of their backstory as much as they should have, so you end up caring for nobody in this movie. They all ended up being kinda shitty people.
I’m not done yet - this movie has a lot of flaws.There is a scene where someone is stabbed, then wakes up in a locked tennis court. The cut happened so fast that it left me confused and looking around. I actually had to rewind the film to make sure she got stabbed and not knocked unconscious, then was confused as to how she got where she was and what the hell happened. A PSA: If someone has to rewind your movie to try and figure out what’s going on, and even then they still can’t solve the mystery, you have some issues to work out. On top of all this, I had a lot of problems with the shoddy dialogue. Last, but not least, there’s a scene where two for the girls find Cat’s father’s phone and watch a video that’s on it. This video consists of another one of their friends being chased. The problem with this is that the video on the cell phone is an extreme close-up. Anyone with a phone (and hell, probably anyone who doesn’t) knows that if you take a video this close range that you’d have to be pretty damn close to your target, unless you were using a zoom function. I’m pretty sure she did not wait for the killer to stop, zoom in and prepare the shot before their little jog. If the killer was this close to their victim, they would have definitely been close enough to kill or capture her at any moment. Ridiculous.
Now that I’ve gotten #Horror to log off and cry itself to sleep, it’s time to explain what I did like about this movie -- but shh, don’t tell. To be honest, the story wasn’t terrible. I like the idea of a group of pre-teens and having a young killer. Usually these days the killer is a demon or monster, or at the very least an adult. Another thing this movie had it going for it was that it did make you feel uncomfortable. Warning, though, to those who end up watching this movie: there is some sensitive and triggering subject matter. It did make me very uncomfortable with the severity of some of the bullying, as well as scenes of children with weapons, self-harm, and god-awful parenting.I also liked that events lead the characters to lock up their phones in a safe and throw away the key. Since it has been mentioned that they do not have a landline, you just know this will be a great handicap for the victims in this movie.
All in all, there was a number of things that I did find wrong with this movie. I feel they should have tweaked the writing -- maybe added a bit more into the characters, or made at least one character likeable. If they at the very least changed up the jarring ugly effects of the title credits and the picture uploading scenes, I would’ve given this film a higher rating. That being said, I didn’t mind the story. It did keep me watching, and held my interest enough to get me through this movie. I would have to rate this one 3 e-brats out of 10.