Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Most Likely to Die (2016): Review

Most Likely to Die is a 2016 slasher film. Directed by Anthony Diblasi (Cassadaga, Last Shift) and starring Heather Morris (Spring Breakers), Chad Addison (It’s Dark Here) and Perez Hilton. The film also features Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) in a small role.

The film follows a group of former classmates as they gather in the hills for their 10 year school reunion. When they get there, they discover all their yearbook photos on the wall, along with their “most likely to”. As they continue to arrive, it’s revealed that they all helped to bully a student known only as John Doe back in their high school and defaced his yearbook picture, adding the caption “most likely to die”. As they begin to get picked off one by one by a maniac wearing a graduation gown and a razor sharp mortar board, they assume it’s John Doe come back to take his vengeance. However, as more of the past starts to come out, they start to turn on each other until the true identity of the killer is revealed.

Most Likely to Die is a loving homage to the more cheesy slashers of the 80s (Return to Horror High, Sleepaway Camp) as well as the more knowing slashers of the 90s (I Know What you did Last Summer). The high school reunion concept is a neat one, although I’m not sure why all these characters would agree to meet since they obviously hate each other. A lot of the characters are also pretty unlikeable, namely Perez Hilton’s character, and the acting pretty lousy at times, but this does make it all the more satisfying when they’re dispatched. The effects and gore are good, but I didn’t really feel like any of the kills were massively original and it’s very much the usual fare.

I think the real strengths of the film are the direction, the original score and the design of the killer. We’ve seen more than enough masked killers in horror movies, but the design of this mask being an approximation of the defaced yearbook photo is really clever and the deadly mortarboard a stroke of genius. At times I felt there were way too many characters to cram in all the back story and the plot rattled along at a pace that rendered many of them unnecessary but, on the other hand, I was rarely bored and the constant action kept the momentum up.

It doesn’t quite hit the ambitious plot points it aims for and isn’t quite as clever as it would like to be, but Most Likely to Die is great fun. Faithful to the classic slasher films of yesteryear but with enough of its own spin on the genre to keep you interested, Most likely to Die will be most likely to entertain you for 90 minutes.

*** 3 Stars

What did you think of the movie? Did you like the design of the killer?


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