This 2015 entry to the slash genre ticks all the boxes needed for a slasher film, but while it homages the golden era of the 80’s boom, its roots are firmly in the tail end of the cycle in which by then entries were tedious and a bore….
Long time readers will know that the slash genre is my all time favourite type of horror movie. I just can’t get enough of a masked killer going around hacking stupid dumb teenagers to death, especially those who choose to “run upstairs, instead of running out of the front door”.
My love dates back to when I was a child and watched Michael Myers making Trick or Treat a deathly experience, as Halloween is still the reason why I love horror to this day. Myers and his friend Jason were films that were a must watch when I was growing up, each sequel back then felt like coming out once a month and you were the coolest kid in school if you had managed to see the new visit to Camp Crystal Lake before anyone else.
The genre has quite rightly once more died a slow death over recent years. Lazy entries and lack of creativity has put paid to the well loved formula The boom of Scream in 1996, quickly fizzled out before it started and while there are some gems to be found out there, (The Final Girls, MaleVolence are a few that are immense) most of the recent classics have been the ones that you accidently stumble upon as they have been released without much fanfare.
Most Likely To Die is one example that missed my radar. Having been out for a few years, this entry only came to my attention over the weekend, when I accidently stumbled upon it while channel surfing and I immediately thought “how embarrassing, that I never knew it existed”, especially as it had been directed by Anthony DiBlasi, the talented guy behind Dread (2009) and Cassadaga (2011).
The story goes that the script was written in the 90’s by Laura Brennan who was obviously influenced by the success of Ghostface and I Know What You Did Last Summer. But with the slasher boom quickly bursting before it really began, the script was quickly forgotten and gathered dust in someone’s office until the year 2015, when it was decided now was the time to make the film. Why? Is a question I thought of asking many times, because when watching, you would swear that its a lost film from that era.
In some ways the plot and the general tone helps the horror as what you are watching is harmless. If you are a fan of slash then there be much to enjoy, but if you looking for some added bite and a bit originality, then its best you look somewhere else as while recent entries like the Final Girls went for what we know and played around with the rules, Most Likely To Die sticks by its clichés and dares not move away from its very own blueprint.
The horror set up is all there. A bunch of former High School Graduates meet up after 10 years to have a celebration, in the middle of nowhere, to get drunk, have sex and to act very badly (yes Perez Hilton). While they are partying and having a good time, someone decides to dress up in their old graduation gown and freaky mask, hide in the shadows and kill each of them, one by one.
And that is it!
But that is what most slasher films are like, so as its hard to rate a film of this kind, we need to look at the killer, the death scenes, the sex scenes and of course the final motive.
The Killer design is pretty good. The blue gown and mask that is sometimes used as a weapon reminds you of Scream and you can tell that while Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson used Halloween and Friday 13th as their main inspiration, the murderous fingerprints of Ghostface are all over this film.
The Sex scenes are nothing special. There is no “killer” moment that helped the Jason and Michael sequels to move along, in fact it virtually serves no point in the plot and while many of us don’t watch it for the sex, I mean its not like we want a Fifty Shades Of Grey, slash style, but sometimes a funny scene of virgins doing the dirty and then facing their comeuppance is what makes a Slash work.
The death scenes are also weak. There is not one memorable moment that has stuck in my brain, the closest we have got is when the mask is used like a knife, but there are fleeting moments that fail to really register and make your horror juices flow.
The Motive is also a puzzler! Trying to be too clever and outwit say Ghostface made it impossible to even guess who was behind the mask and the reasons why. I mean a motive has to be worth it right? This just came across more of a “What? Seriously?”
The biggest complaint though is that the film is just not fun. Once more in an age where nearly every film has to be serious, sometimes all we want is to sit back and just switch off a few brain cells and just laugh at what we watching. We all know that Friday 13th Part 6 is crap, but its also one of the favourite of the franchise, simply because its just a blast to watch. Its just Jason coming back as a Zombie, holding a machete and slaughtering people….perfect! Here the laughs are zilch and because of that the film becomes a tiresome slog.
DiBlasi has shown to be a horror director with talent, but the script serves him quite badly. Even if this was released originally in the 90’s like it should have, it would have had more in common with the disasters like The Clown At Midnight than the pretty poor but still watchable Urban Legend.
Most Likely To Die may find a home in the hearts for the more hard core Slash fan who will likely add a hatchet to the rating below, but for me personally who loves this genre, I want something to bring me back to the terror of when Michael Myers came home one night, or the fun of seeing Sydney Prescott fight off another masked fiend, because all I found in this offering was neither scares or laughs…
Barely Watchable, but some will get a huge kick out of it!