Thursday, February 28, 2013

Girls Against Boys (2012)

I find it a bit creepy to be on the internet sometimes. Part of the reason is the ugly undercurrent of misogyny that permeates so many comments sections and user reviews (you know who you are BTW.)They tend to rant about women who don't want to fuck them or how they believe feminists are ruining everything for men in America. I'm mostly going on and on, but what I'm getting at is that there's some awful human beings on the internet and around the world. So, I must admit that I went into "Girls Against Boys" with a level of interest, as it would be nice to see a horror film from a feminists perspective. What I got instead...was kind of a mess.

Shae (Danielle Panabaker) has undergone a traumatic experience in the form of being raped by a seemingly "nice" guy. To add insult to injury, the guy she's been seeing (Andrew Howard) is married and with kids, and seems to be more interested in nookie than helping her cope. The only person who seems to understand is Lu (Nicole LaLierte), her co-worker, who believes revenge is the only answer. Unfortunately, her idea of revenge involves murder, and when Shae actually does show interest in an actually nice guy, Lu becomes jealous.

I appreciate what director Austin Chick is aiming for here. One could say that there should be more horror films done from a feminist's perspective. While I must commend the performances (Panabaker in particular is good. Girl deserves to be a bigger star IMO), the end result is lacking. There's violence, but there isn't a whole lot of gore here, so fans of that will be disappointed. It also largely feels more like a generic indie movie than it does a horror movie. It clearly wants to be a respectable horror movie, but it doesn't understand how horror works.

Which leads me to my biggest complaint-for all it's good intentions, "Girls Against Boys" seems to lack the courage of it's convictions. It's attempts to comment on gender roles in society feel undercooked, and once the revenge aspect comes to play, it all feels like your basic revenge movie. It clearly wants to say something about these issues in society (and in horror in general), but instead of being a thoughtful commentary or a "Men, Women and Chainsaws" style examination, it all feels "Been here, done that." The fact that Lu ends up becoming obsessed with Shae also feels unnecessary. It's feels exploitative in a "Hey, lesbians!" way, but this is not a movie that needs that. In trying to play it both ways, the film muddles whatever message it intends to have.

If you want to have an intelligent, feminist take on the horror genre-the go watch "Audition", "The Descent" or "Ginger Snaps" instead. Those movies actually make you think about gender roles and equality in the genre. This is just pretending  to understand when it doesn't know shit.

Rating: 3/10

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