Let’s see what teenagers are about these days.
Before I even start, it’s a great sign when within the first three minutes of a movie we get the cheap obnoxious loud sound-scare and objectively unlikable characters.
You might be saying, Jay, you hate all characters and aren’t you supposed to want to watch idiot characters get killed in a slasher film? No, I want to care about the characters. If I have any interest in them, I might become invested in the film (a novel concept) and instead of impatiently waiting for annoying character #3583 to die I will be rooting for them.
Films like this want to be suspenseful, but they just aren’t—they can’t be. Ever since Scream the whole sacrificial slaughter fake-out death at the beginning is too predictable and too familiar to mean anything. (And Scream didn’t even invent this idea). I’d rather be introduced to the actual main character than watch some d-list character get killed. I know that I am watching a horror film. We don’t need to have our sleeves tugged on to remind us the whole time. Nothing in the opening sequence adds to the plot.
You might now be wondering why I’m going so nuts on the first ten minutes of a dumb horror movie. Well, this movie sucks and I don’t know what else to say.
We have another movie where social media comes back to bite teenagers in the ass. I’ve always thought that horror is the most judgmental genre, and we see these ideas coming back in. The risks here seem to be less the horrid behavior of the characters and more the stupidity of having left a digital trail. I guess the film tries to make it so we hit people on both sides of the political aisle, but it just ends up feeling like a masturbatory fantasy for old people thinking about young people getting what they deserve.
The complete lack of realism in any of the characters is simply painful. Teenagers don’t talk, look, or act like the idiots in this movie. I mean, is this how we view young people? Do people buy this at all? Given the reviews thus far, I’m guessing not, which is a good thing. This type of garbage is not only an insult to the horror genre but film as a whole.
Aside from being genuinely insulting to the viewer for the entire running time, the film is also painfully boring. I can’t understand what the purpose of this film is. We have various outcast characters who are trying to figure out who is stalking and killing teens with secrets. We get the obvious suspects and the whole thing feels like Nancy Drew’s First Slasher.
The film can’t be scary as the kills and set-ups become increasingly ridiculous. I find the same problem with Saw as here, I can’t suspend my disbelief that anyone could organize such a luck-based killing spree. No matter how good the gore effects are it all feels a little bit too much like a cartoon.
Come for the horrific slog of a story that goes nowhere and stay for the insulting and tone-deaf messaging. I guess one final insult to the film is that the title has nothing to do with the actual story.
Great job, Netflix.