I am completely ready for the re-emergence of the slasher movie. We had it in the 90’s when Scream paved the way for I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, and a whole bunch of shitty sequels to all of those movies. Sure none of those movies, outside of the first Scream of course, hold up terrifically, but I really enjoyed myself with them at the time and am ready to experience that sort of thing again. It turns out that there are still slashers being made, I just wasn’t hearing about them because they aren’t screening in theatres anymore. If Most Likely to Die is an indicator of the quality of the current slasher crop, then I completely get why.
I’m sure you can guess the premise of the movie based purely on the title. A bunch of people who were friends in high school meet up on the night before their reunion to hang out and catch up and eventually they start to get murdered. At first, they don’t seem too concerned that the owner of the house, and one of their friends, are nowhere to be found for several hours after they’ve arrived. Instead, they hang around and deal with the sorts of issues you would expect high school friends to be dealing with in this kind of movie. Who had a crush on who? Whose life has turned out the best? What dark secrets are they keeping from one another? Who was/is jealous of who? The answer to all of these questions is “Oh my god who cares?!”
I figured going into this movie that the 80-minute run time (including end credits and extended opening title sequences) meant they would hit the ground running and never let up. This was not at all the case. I’m astounded that such a short movie would use up so much time having the characters sit around and talk plot at one another. Oh but there isn’t any actual character development. Instead, they just spout exposition and say exactly what they are thinking and feeling at all times. I was surprised at how early one of the characters discovers a dead body and figured that’s when things would pick up. Nope. These people continue to talk about their problems, even with the carcass of their friend sitting in the near vicinity.
Maybe it would help if the acting was better but it’s flat and stilted across the board. Everyone is so downtrodden and blah. The one major exception is Perez Hilton, whose sole acting instruction seems to be “MORE! DIAL IT UP MORE!” He is a living cartoon character in this movie and it’s all the more noticeable when everyone around him feels like they took a dose of Ambien right before the director yelled action.
The killer is the one highlight of the movie. He dons full graduation gear and has a mortarboard that has super sharp edges which he uses to stab people and cut their heads off. It’s so ridiculous and it feels like it belongs in a completely different movie. He does get a couple of pretty good kills in, one that would require super human strength that I can’t imagine this killer possesses. So at least about 2 minutes of the 80 minutes here are worth watching.
Oh and without getting into spoilers, the ending of this movie makes absolutely no sense. None. They establish who the killer is and all of the backstory that brought him/her to murdering, and then in an effort to set up a sequel that I imagine will never happen, completely throw it out the window in a turn that has zero logic behind it. Because why create a coherent narrative when you can throw in a shocking twist?!
Most Likely to Die is a bad movie and that was such a bummer because I was absolutely ready for a dopey, fun slasher movie. This one takes itself far too seriously, except for the ridiculous killer, and felt like a slog even with its short run-time. Don’t bother.