BFFs, LOLs, LIKES, RETWEETs and MURDER.
The Toronto After Dark film festival comes to a close this evening at Scotibank Theatre with the Toronto premiere of the exceptional dark comedy, Tragedy Girls. A Heathers for the cyber age, the film follows two students and best friends, Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) who are seeking success with their online brand, Tragedy Girls.
To help boost their internet presence they capture a local serial killer, Lowell (Kevin Durand), and plan to mimic his style and cover it on their blog and media feeds. After a few missteps, and a cover-up by the police to keep the town from panicking, the two seem to be on the cusp of making it big.
But life (and death) happens, and things change, friends grow apart, and other interests may vie for attention. Will Sadie and McKayla’s friendship survive the media and homicidal onslaught? Will prom be the best night ever? Will they ever get enough followers?
Tragedy Girls is a wonderfully dark, and gleefully bloody film, and it is bound to delight the After Dark crowd to no end. Happily, it has two screenings this evening, because this one is a gory gem, that is bound to sell out.
Featuring appearances by Josh Hutcherson (in a hilarious bit part, in a nod to Twin Peaks’ James , Rosalind Chao (who meets her death in a nod to Cannibal Holocaust) and Craig Robinson (who, as a producer, may have saved the best death scene for himself), this playful, laugh-inducing film has some great kills, some pointed commentary on social media, and two engaging leads – this one is a bloody, joyous rampage, with homages to some great horror films.
The film is wonderfully paced, has an captivating story that walks a very darkly comic line, and is able to maintain that humour throughout. No easy task, given the subject matter, and the film’s climax at the town’s high school.
Blogging, hashtags, and being popular, that is all the death-obsessed duo want, and they seem to be willing to go to any lengths to get it… and consequently the bodies begin to pile up.
Their parents, friends and teachers remain unsuspecting, and may end up fodder for their popularity before the story is done.
This one is a great way to wrap up this year’s festival, because it has the best of the festival at its heart – a bloody, good time.
Toronto After Dark remains my favourite film festival that we get to cover, and the films, no matter what they are, always prove to be a treat, and are best seen with an After Dark audience.
So, until next year… what will you be watching After Dark?