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Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Most Likely to Die

most-likely-to-die-sMost Likely to Die

 

This entertaining slasher film feels like a combination of Pranks, April Fool’s Day, Terror Train and The Big Chill – which makes it an amusing homage to fairly derivative ‘80s cinema.  It’s set at the isolated retreat of Ray (Jason Tobias), a basketball star who’s just been dropped from his team, on the weekend his high school gang have a reunion, which is crashed by a masked and robed figure called the Graduate who kills then off while raising memories of their tangle of relationships and the wrongs they did to a possible vengeance-seeking culprit back in school.

 

Ray is mysteriously absent, putting him on the suspects list too, and the rest of the gang get offed in ways appropriate to their yearbook predictions – the girl who was most likely to get what she wants happens to say she wants to spend the rest of her life in the hot tub and gets killed there, etc.  Gaby (Heather Morris), the final girl, is interestingly set up – she’s a professional poker player who has never quite become a champion – and the mess of interlinked who-slept-with-and-betrayed-who business is engrossing enough between the decent gore and stalking sequences.  As in The Big Chill, one of the party – Brad (Ryan Doom) – has become the hero of a private eye TV series but is less heroic in person, and there’s also a supermodel outsider trophy girlfriend (Tatum Miranda) to prod the old friends into explaining stuff to each other.

 

Obnoxioblogger Perez Hilton, who managed to deliver one of the worst performances of all time in a wordless micro-cameo in Sharknado 2, is surprisingly good as the hustling hanger-on – a rare case of a slasher movie gay character whose sexuality isn’t his definining characteristic.  Similarly, the black guy in the gang, Lamont (Johnny Ramey), isn’t the jock, but the former nerd who has shaped up and briefly hooks up with the former class president (Marci Miller).  Jake Busey shows up in the traditional role of jittery, pervy caretaker who gets killed early on.  Perhaps the cleverest joke in Laura Brennan’s script is that Ray, the inciting asshole (cf: Hart Bochner in Terror Train) who would in a traditional slasher movie be the Most Likely to Die, is among the survivors.  Directed by Anthony DiBlasi,who has shown steady improvement in his genre films, building on Dread and Cassadega to this modest, but very likeable achievement.

 

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