Review: MOST LIKELY TO DIE

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MostLikelyDie2

SHOCK reviews dead teenager slasher saga MOST LIKELY TO DIE.

There are no paths more clearly beaten within the deep, dark forest of horror than the innumerable tropes defined by the many hundreds if not thousands of Slasher films that dwell within its shadows.  With a bright torch in hand, MOST LIKELY TO DIE provides a tour of these wide and well worn roads, never deviating into anything unexplored or truly dangerous, and it narrates its trip with a tired humor not unlike the jokes delivered by a skipper manning Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise.

The graduating members of Doesn’t Matter High School are coming together for their ten year reunion, and their mischievous past is about to catch up with them.  This gaggle of popular guys and gals had a great time ‘back in the day’, and this extremely important reunion gives them all a chance to rekindle lost romances, pursue easy sex, and reminisce about how popular and cruel they all were in high school.  Unfortunately, a mysterious someone also remembers their combined history, and is looking to settle the score with blood.

The largest and most glaring issue with MOST LIKELY TO DIE isn’t quite that it doesn’t do anything new – which it doesn’t – instead, it is that the beats of the film are so resoundingly familiar, so expected and rhythmic, that it fails to even bring any sort of real energy or passion into the Slasher formula.  Standard genre pieces feel plugged in like so many stacked Legos; a group of attractive and horny young people out in the middle of nowhere without any cell reception; a referenced history of pranks establishing a motive for a ‘someone’ to exact revenge; a gimmicky killer in an appropriately gimmicky outfit who kills his victims in appropriately gimmicky ways which somewhat match the victim’s personality and history; not-quite-nude T&A injected in between scenes for the formula required male gaze intermission; heavy handed foreshadowing which virtually shouts the method to beat the killer at his own game; and finally the third act Giallo style reveal which is logically impossible to guess as it simply does not make a lick of sense.

Included in the cast of MOST LIKELY TO DIE are two names many will recognize – Jake Busey and Perez Hilton.  Busey’s role is so tacked on and unnecessary that I doubt his character was even in the original script.  The feeling I got was that Busey was available for a single day and so they squeezed in some shots of him leering at bikini clad women, cut him a check, and then moved on with their day.

Perez Hilton is another matter.  Hilton plays a reunion student who grew up to find a career as paparazzi – not a far stretch from Hilton’s actual career.  Hilton’s over-the-top man screams when things go wrong are just plain funny, and his line delivery in other moments are often scene stealing.  

MOST LIKELY TO DIE has been referenced in other articles as a ‘time capsule’ as the script was originally penned during the Slasher Springtime of the 90’s and sat undeveloped until finally being made in the present.  I do not think this term is apt.  A time capsule is a thing which highlights a cultural or artistic ideal and is intentionally reserved for the future; a time capsule is not an abandoned project that sat neglected in the woodshed for twenty years.  Further, the Slasher genre simply does not need any sort of time capsule – we have many of them already.  SCREAM is a time capsule.  I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER is a time capsule.  URBAN LEGEND is a time capsule.  All of these are just waiting for you to queue them up so you may enjoy the best of Slasher films from the 1990’s.  Why watch a recently made pale simulacrum when you can watch the real thing?  MOST LIKELY TO DIE would tell you that it is a film lost in time, when the truth is the film just plain lost.