At its core, this is a slasher movie about a girl who stays on campus over Thanksgiving break and finds herself stalked by 4 murdering psychopaths. The psychopaths kill a couple security guards, and the only thing standing between our heroine and certain death are her own wits.
It’s pretty standard slasher fare. As far as standard slashers go, this was a pretty good one. Yes, there were some pretty huge leaps in logic, but that’s to be expected. (People jump off tall buildings and are able to get up and run away all the time, right?) There’s also a fair about of slasher logic on display here, but it’s a slasher. I’m fine with it.
I believe that a slasher movie can really only be as good as its final girl, and we got a good one here. Although the movie is called Kristy, our final girl is Justine (I’ll get to that in a bit), and she’s terrific, provided you don’t really ask any questions about how she got the skills she shows off. She’s a likable character, but that kind of information takes a backseat to the real question: is she a fighter? The answer is a resounding “yes.” She uses her knowledge of the campus to her advantage. She turns the tables on her attackers. When she’s cornered, she doesn’t panic. Okay…she panics, but then she looks for a way out.
I liked all of that. But there’s another storyline running throughout the movie. This group of murderers are part of a larger group. This group has cells all over the country, and they all have one goal: “Kill Kristy.” They use Kristy as a code. It basically stands for any rich white girl who appears to have a good life. These groups stalk these “Kristys”, kill them and carve a “K” into their faces. They videotape the entire process and upload it to a central server. All the videos of dead Kristys, all in one place. They watch these videos on multiple TVs at the same time, like a moving murder quilt.
We see a lot of this before we even meet Justine. The movie opens with the murder of a pretty girl in a field, then a whole lot of distorted dialogue across the network. “Kill Kristy.” “Kristy is God. Kill God.” Things like that.
I didn’t like any of that. The idea that there was a larger group than these 4 killers wasn’t bad, but the execution was terrible. It was supposed to feel like this menacing presence, but it just annoyed me. If they would have cut that stuff out of the beginning and had it as a big reveal at the end, I probably would have liked it better. As it was, it was handled poorly in the beginning and I had a bad taste in my mouth for the first 20 minutes.
Also, all the killers wear masks made out of foil and do the whole, “tilt my head,” move. You know the one.
That’s fine when it’s Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees; after all, they’re unstoppable killers who aren’t even really human. They tilt their heads because they truly don’t understand what is going on, like a confused dog. A regular person doing it doesn’t really strike me as menacing, even with a mask. It just comes off as forced.
Unless they’re trying to emulate Myers and Voorhees. In which case, you just look like you’re trying too hard. Get a new intimidation tactic, because this one isn’t working.
As it stands, this is a perfectly decent slasher movie that reaches for heights it can’t quite achieve.
Notable actors: Haley Bennett (Hardcore Henry), Ashley Green (Twilight, The Apparition), Chris Coy (Banshee)