Sunday, July 24, 2016

All Girls Weekend (2016)








DIRECTOR:
 Lou Simon

WRITER:
 Lou Simon

CAST:


Jamie Bernadette
Katie Carpenter
Gema Calero
Karishma Lakhani
Hannah Gourdine
Sharron Calvin
Michele Gourdine

PLOT:

When four high school friends, now women, reunite for a weekend outing into the mountains. They hope that a weekend away that will allow for some girl bonding as they haven't seen each other in a long time due to adult life getting in the way. Little do the women realise that there is a curse in the mountains that will have this group of friends fighting for survival. They will need to fight against the harsh elements and a forest that is far more alive than they can imagine.







As I sat down to watch All Girls Weekend. I noticed pretty quickly that the director of this movie was apparently inspired by another very famous horror film that was about a group of women who meet up for a weekend of girl bonding that goes horribly awry. Instead, that group of women go spelunking into caves. That movie is Neil Marshall's terrifying and claustrophobic The Descent. Come to my surprise (not really) that as soon as I checked IMDb and seen in the trivia section that this movie was inspired by The Descent, it all made perfect sense.

When the movie begins, we get a short opening scene where a mother murders her daughter as the forest appears to come alive, telling the mother to kill her own child. We then cut to our group of four girlfriends all meeting up. This is where the film goes downhill. Immediately, we notice this group of high school friends have all taken their different paths in life, and some are still harbouring some pretty nasty resentment that is still continuing on from high school.

All Girls Weekend is basically an hour and a half long movie of five women who snap, bitch and snipe at each other like high school girls. Instead of these five women just acting like adults, we are subjected to them all moaning at each other. From the very first moment that we are introduced, it never lets up. It became tiring very quickly. I had enough of the constant snarky comments. I spent most of this movie wondering why these girls were ever friends in the first place.

Once our five women get to the mountains, this is where things head south very, very slowly. After an accident in the forest leaves one of the women severely injured, cue the mounting tension. The movie basically gives us some backstory on the mountain being cursed and from that point on, it's pretty much death, destruction, and all of the women fighting for survival, all the way up until the movie begins to roll the final credits. Still while portraying most of them as awful human beings.

Just before our credits roll, we are given a slightly bleak ending. It all spells doom and gloom and ends on a downer. I have to say, though, the conclusion is the most creepy thing about the film. Is it entirely original? No. But I do enjoy that the movie tries to make a point that nature always fights back. The movie may have The Descent as a considerable influence, but I also saw some serious love for The Long Weekend in this movie as well. Both films deal with nature being a catalyst for the events that take place in the film.

This movie is an extremely low budget horror film. I found more often than not that a lot of the gore and makeup effects looked rather cheap. I put this down to the budget and doing the best that the crew can with what they had to work with. I will say that I didn't see any use of CGI and it all looked like practical, in-camera effects. So I have to hand it to them for taking that route and not giving us horrible computer generated blood or gore.

The acting in the film is one of the low points for me. Immediately, I felt like this was a group of mates making a movie, and not some casting call for theatrically trained actresses. I will say that I enjoyed that it was an all-female cast, though. If I were to highlight anyone in the cast, it would be lead actress, Jamie Bernadette. She was the one that stood out the most for me, even if at times her side-eye and bitchy remarks came across as cheesy. She has the most potential.

Lastly, All Girls Weekend wasn't scary or tension-filled. The movie basically flatlines when it comes to those elements. The movie comes across as a slow build type of film and not once does it ever really try to dish out loud noises or jump scares. Usually, I'd be all for the slow-building tension, and fewer jump scares but when the movie builds up to nothing at all. I had begun to hope that we would at least get some loud jump scares, which sadly never arrived.







DEATH TOLL:
 6

BLOOD AND GORE:

- Dead animal carcass.
- A stick goes through someone's leg.
- Heads are crushed with rocks, and someone is decapitated.
- Someone is ripped limb from limb.
- A body is seen with eyes were torn out.
- Frostbitten fingers need to be amputated.
- A severed hand is found.
- Some glass is seen being removed from someone's hand.
- Someone dies by being covered in leaves and dirt.
- A fingernail falls off.
- Infected hand and vagina from wiping with Poison Ivy.







All Girls Weekend feels like a film that tries to pay homage to Long Weekend and The Descent. It's just a shame that it lacks anything that made those two classic slices of horror cinema so good. This movie falls short of acting, makeup effects, story, and contains the most annoying bunch of characters that I've seen in a horror movie in quite some time. Watch a double bill of Long Weekend and The Descent instead.


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