There is a long tradition of the high school revenge killers in horror movies. It occupies this weird space where it is supposed to be scary but at the same time be one of those cathartic revenge fantasies for the outcasts in the audience. Generally they get to have it both ways in films like this. The killer is someone nobody liked or someone getting vengeance on their behalf as they kill their way through all the popular kids. At the end, though, they usually get stopped by someone else that was also not the most popular but still around the popular kids. So now you get to see all the “cool kids” get punished but also identify with the hero.
Most Likely to Die keeps true to the formula though now it’s a high school reunion rather than actual high school. The old yearbook club is getting together before the 10 year high school but a killer is stalking them. They are getting taken out one by one and each in a manner fitting their old high school yearbook “Most Likely” status. Each of them have their own baggage and have changed a lot since high school but could any of them have become a killer? Is there anyone there they can trust? Why do they keep splitting up even after they found the body of one of their friends with her throat slit open?
The movie does a fairly decent job of making you uncertain of who the real killer is until at least the third act. You get a few different possible suspects and we only follow around one of the girls as a main character. It still relies on people deciding to run off on their own even when they know a killer is somewhere around. Like, it’s one thing to have people split up when they don’t know what’s happening but if you straight up find someone murdered, I don’t think that you’re going to go traipsing off by yourself. I don’t care what drama you had in high school. After ten years and a dead body, everyone around me is staying within eye shot.
Given the name and the fact that it was just randomly on Netflix and I had never heard of it before, I assumed this was going to be some super low budget garbage. While I’m sure it still didn’t take much to make, it was at least done with some fairly slick production values. The camera work was smooth, the effects were well done, and they even managed to get a couple actors that you’ve seen in other things. Including, amazingly, Jake Busey in the role he was born to play: a creepy pervert groundskeeper. The plot moves along at a good enough clip that you never really get bored and there’s just enough background information to establish character without it wasting a bunch of time telling us useless factoids about the characters’ lives.
While the movie doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the world of the high school revenge slasher genre, it does do an excellent job of embodying all the qualities you would expect to see from it. I’d give the movie a 3.5 out of 5 and say that if you want an entirely watchable slasher flick, you could definitely do worse.
Favorite thing in the movie: Killer turned a graduation cap into a bladed weapon. I appreciate that level of dedication to your gimmick in killing people.
Least favorite thing: The other main weapon is just a box cutter? Come on, man. That’s not even thematic or cool looking. Get your slasher shit together.