This is a really good teen drama, and it’s a pretty good slasher movie in the vein of scream. Now streaming on Netflix this is a pretty good way to spend your Halloween.
The film opens on a high school football star returning home from school. Things seem off in the empty house, but he ignores them. He soon regrets that decision as he finds himself faced with a killer wearing a mask of his own face. Once the bloody deed is done, all of his darkest secrets are exposed to the school
Once at the school we meet a group of friends who have bonded over their social status as outcasts. They try to piece together why the murders are happening and who is behind it all, while trying to protect their own dark secrets from coming to light.
I loved these characters. This group of outcasts is a really strong collection of actors matched very well to their parts. I loved the way in which the film took its characters seriously and gave them time to really explore their inner lives. These are not stock slasher movie teens. These characters feel real and great care was given to exploring each one.
I also liked the slasher element. There are some really creative and creepy kills in the movie. If you have a problem with blood I’d recommend avoiding it but if you’re into bloody slasher films this is a fun addition to the genre.
What didn’t work for me was the big reveal. In the end the killer is unmasked, and they mask a big speech explaining their motivations. I figured out who the killer was about halfway through, and the motivation was lame. I didn’t buy it for a second.
Now did that reveal ruin the movie? Surprisingly no. A bad twist can often kill a movie for me, but this one didn’t. I credit that to the strength of the characters. In the end the slasher aspect was secondary to the strong character work. I still enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t a great movie, but I had fun and the characters worked for me.
It is my cup of tea. B