Review: 'Tragedy Girls' Has Gore And Sass, But Won't Set The Internet On Fire

In the social media generation it's no longer about everyone having their fifteen minutes of fame, but who can get the most Facebook "Likes" and the most followers to their YouTube channel. Remember when eating a bug on TV was enough to get you a few months worth of national attention? While the bar hasn't exactly been raised, the playing field has expanded by the millions. Anybody can become famous now, and for practically anything that strikes a chord. In the case of Tyler MacIntyre's slasher comedy Tragedy Girls, getting noticed has become a literal bloodsport.

If only the film achieved the same heights as its two killer protagonists, high school mean girls Sadie and McKayla. They're played by Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp, who will be recognizable as Deadpool's sullen Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Storm of the X-Men. You won't find any mutant powers here, though, unless you count racking up a ridiculously high body count. The film begins in classic fashion; a parked car, a guy and a girl making out until they suddenly hear a noise outside. She encourages him to be a man and check it out, only for him to step outside and be met by a machete to the skull. The girl runs away from the masked killer, but rather than her being caught and murdered, he is clotheslined by chickenwire. Oops. Turns out it was all a plot by Sadie and McKayla to capture the serial killer (played by Kevin Durand) so he could teach them how to go down as legendary mass murderers.

That's pretty crazy in its own right, but their real motivation will be familiar to anybody who saw Scream 4. What the girls want is to become celebrities as "Tragedy Girls", famous survivors of these deadly attacks just like Neve Campbell's Sidney. The problem is that the town keeps mistaking their killings for accidents, even when it's obvious (like getting your head split open by the school's buzzsaw) that they weren't.

MacIntyre and co-writer Chris Lee Hill do a solid job of highlighting the viciousness of high school with the brutality of the horror genre. The girls have their share of problems in both worlds. Like, what does a psychopathic murderer where to prom, anyway?  And why is the head cheerleader such a bitch? Sadie and McKayla are the Cher and Dionne of this tiny Midwestern school, they're practically joined at the knife handle. It's not every day you find someone who shares your love of dismemberment. They do everything together, which only makes things complicated when *shocker* a boy (Jack Quaid) starts to get between them. Not just any boy, but the sheriff's kid.  Drama!!

While Hildebrand and Shipp are loads of evil fun to watch (there is much side-eye to be found), it only extends to the inventiveness of their murders and the famous people they kill. Josh Hutcherson has what amounts to an extended cameo as McKayla's sexy ex, so of course he HAD to go. Craig Robinson also shows up for a few minutes as local stud Big Al to meet his grisly fate, one that will have you asking for a spotter at the gym. MacIntyre's script doesn't do much to make us care what happens to the girls, though, and it's never really clear what the stakes are. The premise is pretty thin, and it never really comes to mean anything more than just snarky jokes about social media. It falls into the same shallow category as other recent attempts to spin the slasher genre and the "final girl" trope, while never hitting the level of wit that Heathers did years ago, or that The Final Girls did in 2015. Tragedy Girls has gore and sass to spare, but it lacks that something extra to truly grab you by the throat and not let go.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5