Leader (Destini Stewart), Willow (Sophie Bawks-Smith), Jules (Jillian Frank), Vicky (Mari Geraghty) and Millie (Rowan Wales) have gone all Lord of the Flies Canada edition and leave behind parents and boyfriends to live in the woods all on their own with their own rules and things go about exactly as well as you’d expect when five teenage girls lose their minds.
The girls live under a rule of suitable revenge, which means if someone upsets you, you get to go after them with all the force and madness that an 18-year-old girl who has never left home before can muster which is a metric ton if you were worried about the conversion.
First-time director Avalon Fast and co-writer Emmett Roiko have put together an interesting script, but the performances are stilted and near-student level — I love reading reviews that claim this is intended and makes it a better movie, film people will forgive anything — while the editing is not the best and the sound quality is borderline static at best in some scenes. That said, there are moments that look gorgeous, which stand out and make you wish the same care was delivered throughout the movie.
That said, I do love parts of this, like the letters the girls write to loved ones before they leave, like Leader telling her boyfriend, “When I want you, I’ll come get you.” This feels like a trial run — like your teen years — for something better, remembering the rough edges yet knowing how to imbue them with the honey of experience.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Remember — this weekend, you can buy a back half half price badge to watch all of the awesome movies at the Chattanooga Film Festival and see them until 6/29! Get yours right here!