Del reviews ‘Most Likely to Die’
“Most Likely to Die” Starring Chad Addison, Jake Busey, Tess Christiansen, Heather Morris, Perez Hilton. Directed by Anthony DiBlasi. 90 minutes. Unrated.
Hollywood has exhausted its trove of mask themes for slashers these days.
Leatherface, Michael Myers, Jason Voorheis, Ghostface – they all have distinctive face coverings to make them scarier than what they really are – close-to-middle-age white dudes with mommy issues. A close-to-middle-age white dude is scary only when he shows up as your Tindr date, so if you’re John Carpenter or Tobe Hooper, you put your killer in a mask.
Hoping to join that cadre of baddies is The Graduate of “Most Likely to Die,” a room-temperature horror flick that never receives its diploma. Our Graduate wears an overbaked pot roast of a mask, which bears no resemblance to the conflict or subtext. To complete his ensemble he’s wrapped in a graduation gown, with a cap so sharp and deadly that if it were a human being, it could trade barbs with Bill Maher.
Too bad the script and acting aren’t equally cutting edge. The only thing they’re cutting is the cheese because this is one stinker of a scary movie. Don’t waste your time.
“Most Likely” features an ensemble cast starring Gaby (Heather Morris), a world poker wannabe who attends a reunion of her old high school clique at buddy Ray’s (Jason Tobias) remote hillside pad. She’s joined by eight others as they await their host, who’s mysteriously AWOL.
It takes no time for this Band of Mother******s to fall back into its high school pecking order, led by Brad (Ryan Doom), a recovering narcissist TV star who knocked up Gaby and dumped her when they were seniors (yet he still secretly pines for her, despite the presence of his supermodel shack job Bella – Tatum Miranda). But Gaby is having none of it. She’s already “lost big” to Brad once and she’s not going to do it again. We both know she’s lying through her fashionably bleached teeth.
Meanwhile, where the heck is Ray? It isn’t until the second act that somebody decides to go looking for him, and even that is a ploy to get a certain poker expert away from the others for some wooing and cooing.
They find a mysterious wooden shack where one of their members has been separated from her life by way of a slashed throat. Others turn up similarly murdered, and the story proceeds from there.
Clues are left along the way, but they aren’t developed. The manner of death might suggest a motive – that isn’t pursued. Nor is the possibility that one of them is the killer. It’s as if screenwriter didn’t know what to do with those complications and let them die on the vine.
The dialogue is as blah as unflavored yogurt and the pace as brisk as a jar of sun tea on the sidewalk. I’ve seen scarier episodes of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” Acting is similarly uninspired. The sole breath of life is Freddie (Perez Hilton), and even he is saddled with the stereotype of the over-the-top token gay boy who runs from the fight because he doesn’t want to break a nail.
I hated everyone and didn’t care who died. I wasn’t scared – not once – and stuck around only for the reveal, which was oddly anticlimactic and sprang from the ethers with little setup. My emotional investment lay in Gaby’s pricey convertible, which I hoped wouldn’t be scratched.
It’s a shame because “Most Likely” could have been a funny, sexy horror movie, like “Happy Death Day” or “Buffy.” Instead, it’s a paint-by-number middle school video project where every single part was phoned in.
I saw it Netflix, the online equivalent of the crappy Grade Z movie section in your old video rental store. But let me do you this favor:
Don’t bother. Grade D.
Stone is a former journalist and author.