Director – Oliver Blackburn
Cast – Haley Bennett, Ashley Greene, Lucas Till, Chris Coy, Mike Seal, Lucius Falick, Erica Ash, James Ransone, Matthew St. Patrick
Release Year – 2014
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I remember being so stoked to watch this flick after watching its initial trailer last year. From Donkey Punch director Oliver Blackburn, he steps up his game with this cliché but enjoyable slasher film. I have long said that with the slasher sub-genre you can give us the same old format we’ve seen a hundred times, and as long as the execution is good it’ll still grasp the viewer. That is the case with Kristy.
When Justine stays behind on campus to work on her studies during Thanksgiving break, her much-needed solitary focus is interrupted by a murderous cult intent on making her their next victim.
Kristy comes with a storyline scenario that never fails at grasping my attention: having nowhere to run. Because Justine chooses to stay behind on campus, she is literally the only person on campus aside from a few security guards, and it’s a large campus where help is more far away than it is close. The story is as simple as it gets, with the four killers hunting down Justine and killing everyone who gets in their way. The empty campus leaves all of their victims unsuspecting of the danger around them, and the electrical issues causing light fixture outages aren’t helping either. Blackburn’s story hints at an underground social network regarding snuff killings, but it isn’t pushed despite the film’s intro and outro hinting at an emphasis on it. You may be wondering why the film, following Justine, is titled Kristy. Watch the movie.
So how is the horror? I dug it. The four killers aren’t anything special, with the lead antagonist Violet serving as the most cliché of them all. Their attire is simple, hoodies and masks, but despite these obvious clichés Blackburn does a good job at delivering tension. Ultimately, the tension is what made this an enjoyable film to me and it aided in overlooking some of the film’s negative qualities. As far as the kills go they are pretty tame. There is little gore and most of the kill scenes have the carnage occurring off-screen, only showing us the shocking aftermath. This tension was complimented with awesome atmosphere. Due to the constant blackouts on campus there are plenty of dark corners and shadowy areas for our killers to emerge from. The musical score is also an engaging one, providing an eerily electronic anthemic sound that also mimicked the online sub-plot that is never explored.
Overall, Kristy is a flick I enjoyed thanks to its execution of the most important elements: tension and atmosphere. The kills could have been more appealing, and the same goes for the antagonists, but in the end this is a positive slasher experience that excels at the essentials.