For someone of my age, the online habits of Millennials can be more than slightly perplexing. It wasn’t until recently that I realised Facetime was actually a thing and not just a way of talking about social media without namechecking a particular site. I’m not alone. Hollywood has struggled with concepts of new media, language and habits. This probably reflects the type of people who are mostly writing, directing and green-lighting films. I mean, someone actually signed-off on The Emoji Movie. In Tragedy Girls, director Tyler MacIntyre seamlessly blends horror with modern online culture.
BFFs Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and MK (Alexandra Shipp) are the Tragedy Girls. They run a website dedicated to covering real crime and are preoccupied with a serial killer who’s active in their midwestern town. Spurred on by the lack of concern shown by the local Sheriff (Timothy V. Murphy), they decide to take matters into their own hands. In order to rouse the community and improve their internet traffic, they capture the maniac (Kevin Durand) in an attempt to learn from him. When he’s uncooperative, they embark on a campaign of killing themselves; aided by the technical wizardry of Jordan (Jack Quaid), the sheriff’s son and Sadie’s chief admirer.
Tragedy Girls is an absolute riot. Hildebrand and Shipp ooze personality and charisma, making them a deadly duo who you can’t help but root for. MacIntyre keeps things lively, creating a mix of Clueless & Thelma and Louise whilst maintaining a brisk pace. It does stutter a bit towards the end with a rather unnecessary romance, but manages to quickly get back on track. The commentary about online presence and youth culture really hits the mark. Tragedy Girls is a refreshing new take on horror where humour is never far from the surface.