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SXSW REVIEW: Tragedy Girls Cuts Deep With Wickedly Dark Humor

SXSW REVIEW: Tragedy Girls Cuts Deep With Wickedly Dark Humor Image
  • Posted on 02nd Oct, 2022 22:31 PM
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Tragedy Girls, a teen horror-comedy about aspiring serial killers, doesn't hold back on the violence or gore - and that's a good thing.

Watch your back "Heathers," because "Tragedy Girls" is coming to snatch your crown. The teen horror-comedy about aspiring serial killers hits SXSW with a heady mix of menace and moxie that insures it'll be a crowd favorite an instant cult classic. A tantalizingly dark humor dances through "Tragedy Girls," a story that's as much about friendship as it is about the twisted ambition.

Superhero movie scene-stealers Alexandra Shipp ("X-Men: Apocalypse's" Storm) and Brianna Hildebrand ("Deadpool's" Negasonic Teenage Warhead) star as a pair of churlish cheerleaders whose thirst for internet stardom is matched only by their IRL bloodlust. When their sleepy Midwestern town becomes the hunting grounds for a serial killer (Kevin Durand in grumbly slasher mode), McKayla (Shipp) and Sadie (Hildebrand) take the opportunity to capture him. But not so they can bring him to justice. Instead, these enterprising teen terrors want a fall guy for a killing spree of their own.

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Pitching dismembered heads and splashes of ropey blood along with biting one-liners, "Tragedy Girls" is a comedy unrepentantly gaga over gore and horror. These self-proclaimed "tragedy girls" (their Twitter handle) whoop and rally over their murder scenes with the kid of ghoulish glee that horror fans share over bonkers onscreen kills. This reflective edge is part of what makes this killer comedy so cutting. On one level, it's a blast to chase Sadie and McKayla as they ditch out on their loving parents to slaughter a self-righteous classmate who dared oppose their prom plans, a deliciously deranged vicarious thrill. But on the other, the script by Chris Lee Hill and Tyler MacIntyre slyly unfolds darker details of their backstory that make it harder and harder to reconcile our affection for these homicidal antiheroines.

This conflict of cute and creepy makes "Tragedy Girls" a rich and wild must-see, full of eye-popping gore, gleeful gallows humor, and addictive attitude. Behold: the new class of bad girls have arrived, and they're badass.

"Tragedy Girls"made its world premiere at SXSW.

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