Tragedy Girls (CIFF 2017)

Films like Tragedy Girls serve as a reminder that horror, high school, and knowing satire can all coexist in the same movie and be wonderful. It probably hasn’t been since Scream burst onto the scene over two decades ago (feel old?) that we’ve had such a great blend of these three elements in one movie—except Tragedy Girls is even funnier. It’s Scream meets Jawbreaker for the Twitter generation, and I mean that … as a compliment, I think.

Our story follows two high school girls, Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp), who run a blog called “Tragedy Girls,” idolize serial killers (in hopes of emulating them), and revel in blood, guts, and all things scary. There have been some murders in their town, and they’re soaking up the attention for their blog—but it’s not growing as fast as it can. So they start to take things into their own hands—by knocking off members of the population and also having the inside scoop.

The film lampoons slasher tropes, winks at the audience with its knowledge of horror films, and is gleeful in its use of blood and dark comedy. It’s fun from start to finish, with almost no room for downtime. And, heck, it’s even a little bit sweet. That the film makes you care for its sociopathic protagonists is a minor miracle, and it’s thanks to strong writing and good performances. Mix it all together and you’ve got something that’s destined to, at the very least, wind up as a cult classic we’ll be discussing for years to come.

Conclusion: Tragedy Girls is buckets of fun (and blood).

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of knowing satires or horror-comedies, you need to check out Tragedy Girls.

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