OK, honestly I wasn’t expecting Kristy to be any good. In my mind, I pictured a strange mix between a traditional slasher and The Purge or Prey. I’m happy to report it is not that and in fact is fantastic. Though I do have a couple of bones with this film, though they’re few and far between. My main issue is actually that Justine keeps being referred to as a final girl, which she’s not. Justine falls more in line with Victim-Hero archetype in my humble opinion. I have one other bone to pick with the character of Justine, but I’ll get to that later.
Kristy opens with a murder of a college girl, mixed with a series of shots of a website and of a shadowy organization talking about killing Kristy. Who they perceive as pure and innocent. We then get introduced to Justine (Haley Bennett) a college girl on work-study, who elects to stay behind at her college over Thanksgiving break. After the departure of her roommate Nicole (Erica Ash) and her boyfriend Aaron (Lucas Till), Justine is relatively alone on the campus. With the notable exception of the super cool security guard Wayne (Mathew St. Patrick). That night she decides to take her roommate’s car to the local gas station for snacks, plus a Mountain Dew and a cheap pumpkin pie for Wayne. At the station, she encounters Violet (Ashley Greene), who seems to be looking for a confrontation. After Violet leaves, Justine heads back to campus visibly shaken. On the way there she comes across Violet’s vehicle parked in the road. She is quickly harassed and flees back to campus where she delivers the promised Dew and Pie. Along with alerting security to what happened. That night she beset by three men in masks led by Violet, who quickly kill Wayne and the other guard. With her cell jammed and under attack Justine will have to fight to survive.
What sticks out to me most about this film is Haley Bennett’s incredibly solid performance. I really buy her in this role and found myself both concerned and invested in the character. My only issue is that it’s not until her boyfriend was killed in front of her after he returns that she fights back and when she finally does she come out with serious commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the shift in tone for both the film and character. It’s just I wish the death of her man wasn’t the catalyst.
The rest of the film was fantastic. Especially the music, which has an excellent use of the NONONO’s song Pumping Blood. The only time I felt the music wasn’t on point was when Lana Del Ray played in the car. As I felt that it instantly dated the film. Why this song and not Pumping Blood I’m not sure.
The killers also work well. They come off as both physically imposing and intelligent in how they hunt Justine. The have the feel of seasoned killers, who have and will again commit violence against others. So when you learn that they’re all in individual cells and learn this might have been their first time doing it. The story gets a bit shaky.
Final thoughts, I really liked and it was more than worth the time invested. Kristy does away with some of the more prevalent cliches and tropes. Leaving the film feeling more fresh than it would have otherwise. The villains are well done, even if their tin foil masks come off as a tad silly at times. Kristy is a film that is absolutely deserving of the hour and a half it asks you to invest. So go on, invest it. 8/10