Why Tragedy Girls is a Wonderful Addition to the Slasher Genre
Twisted and campy are a few words to describe the 2017 slasher, Tragedy Girls. With its “dark” humor and solid acting from both Alexandra Shipp and Brianna Hildebrand, you're in for a treat. This Horror/Comedy film produced by Craig Robinson, among others, will have you gutting (pun possibly intended) yourself.
For those who’ve watched the film, you may have either loved it or hated it. Many reviews tend to be one way or the other. Of course, you could be one of the people who thought it was okay. I loved the film. It’s not perfect, but Tragedy Girls gave us a different take on the slasher genre. Instead of one white man running around and killing everyone, our protagonists are a diverse, female teenage duo. Is there a white, male serial killer in this movie? Yes, but he's not center of the plot like McKayla Hopper (Shipp) and Sadie Cunningham (Hildebrand) are, and that's what makes this movie unlike most slasher films.
With the slasher genre we're often met with redundant stories. Usually it's the same story about some dim-witted white teenagers, majority of whom you can't remotely find likable, interesting, or relatable. Although some may not be rooting for the main characters of this film, they are certainly interesting and humorous, even when they’re covered in blood and plotting murder.
McKayla and Sadie’s relationship is presented as best friends, but there’s a subtext within the jealous behavior mainly displayed by McKayla throughout, which leaves room for a different interpretation of their relationship. One line in the movie that’s mentioned in the trailer is: “Do you remember our first time?” Which can leave the audience wondering if they were together.
Tragedy Girls is also entertaining because it presents a more radical idea of what social media does to people. In the movie McKayla and Sadie run a true crime blog called Tragedy Girls, which has few followers and isn’t all that popular. So, both girls take it upon themselves to use their charm to get away with murder and reach stardom at the same time. Their obvious psychological disturbances nudge the murder spree, but their prime motivation is to become wildly popular. This is, of course, a more extreme instance of what young people will do for social media fame, and yet it still gets the job done in displaying just how far people go for what they desire.
Sadie and McKayla never sway from their anti-heroine positions throughout the movie. There’s no last-minute redemption or change in who they are fundamentally. The ending isn’t cookie cutter or all that cliché for that matter. So if you find yourself craving a present day slasher with a massive dose of humor––this one is likely for you.
Vanessa Maki is a queer writer, artist & other things. She’s full of black girl magic & has no apologies for that. Her work has appeared in various places like Really System & others. She is also forthcoming in a variety of places. She’s founder/EIC of rose quartz magazine & is involved in other literary spaces as well. Follow her twitter & visit her site.