Most Likely to Die Review
Every year, without fail, a new crop of slasher films gets released upon the world through VOD services, Redbox and of course bargain DVD’s. Now most of these slasher films don’t stray too far from the already established and exhausted template of their eighties progenitors. Every so often you will see slight variations of the same formula, whether it be with characters, the setup or even the twists the plot takes as it makes it way to the final act. We should applaud when new writers and directors make their own mark with a genre that’s been beaten to death. Behind the Mask is a good example of twisting the connections enough to where a film is not only enjoyable but also gives off a sense of freshness. On the other hand, there are also slasher films that play the plot by the numbers but the production quality is so high that you can hold on to your seat and enjoy the brainless roller coaster ride to the end. Most Likely to Die sort of fits between these two.
Reminiscent of such slasher classics as Slaughter High (which Most Likely to Die rips the core plot line from) comes the latest film by Anthony DiBlasi who also directed the 2014 film Last Shift. I haven’t had a chance to give his previous endeavor a watch through, but just watching the trailer for the film gives me more of a sense of what he’s working with—Low budgets, slightly above average actors and practical effects.
With Most Likely to Die, DiBlasi has managed to craft a slasher film that plays up the nostalgia throwback angle to a degree which shows care for the genre, but manages to miss the mark overall on what exactly the film is trying to achieve. It fails to deliver the thrill of the ride as we find out who the killer could possibly be, and when we do, we’re let down on the killer’s motivation for doing what he did. The weakest part of the whole film is in the unveiling of the killer. Handing off the reveal to a side character who is just going to be killed a few seconds later is a miss-step because in the very next scene, the killer walks right into the house sporting a gun for his anti-climatic reveal to the main character.
Most Likely to Die does a few things right though and they mostly center around the use of practical gore effects. Some of the kills are cartoony by design (what else can we expect from a killer who dresses up in a graduation gown and wields a sharp metal graduation cap for a weapon). The film does invoke some of the more wacky killers of slasher genre past and it comes off as cheesy but bearable. The acting is what I would expect from C-level actors who are given a mediocre script and the producers of the film did manage to snag a few known names. The biggest of them is our final girl played by Glee actress Heather Morris who gives a slightly muted performance as Gaby—a poker player who has trouble doing what it takes to win. Perez Hilton, of gossip fame, manages to find himself in the movie as the alcoholic Freddie. To be honest, I don’t follow that world too closely and I didn’t realize it was him until the credits started to scroll. Keep on the look out for Jake Busey as the crazy red-herring who appears to only be in the film to die, and also to watch the beautiful Tatum Miranda strip down into a thong.
The film doesn’t do much other than show off some practical effect gore and display Tatum Miranda in a bikini. I was able to watch this on Netflix for free and I believe that’s the best way for anybody to see it. As a throwback to the slasher films of the 1980’s, it does a decent job at giving slasher fans what they come to expect of the genre and nothing more.
Rating: 2 out of 5