THANKSGIVING TERROR: Kristy (2014)

Justine (Haley Bennett) is going to college on a scholarship and can’t afford to fly home for the Thanksgiving break. Instead, she’s all alone, as even her boyfriend Aaron (Lucas Till) and roommate Nicole (Erica Ash) have both gone home. Of course, she’ll be safe, because the security team — Wayne (Matthew St. Patrick), Dave (Al Vicente) and Scott (James Ransone) are there. That night, she meets the pierced and hooded Violet (Ashley Greene, leaving behind Twilight to be a really intense villain) in a convenience store, a strange woman who keeps calling her Kristy. It’s unsettling, but things grow worse once that same face shows up on her laptop, along with snuff footage of her leading a group of masked killers as they obliterate young women. Now, she is their target, a woman who they see as a pure, beautiful and privileged follower of God.

Directed by Oliver Blackburn and written by Anthony Jaswinski, this was originally called Satanic and Random. The title doesn’t matter. What does is that this is that rarest of film: a slasher that actually is good after the 1980s. Unlike so many modern slashers that don’t have the stalking moments that are packed with tension, this film has Justine on the run for the entire running time. Like The Strangers with anti-religious zealots trying to destroy young women — and succeeding across our nation — this works way better than it should, blasting out under ninety minutes of taut suspense along with a heroine who by the end of the film has gone from final girl to capable killing machine who is totally fine with leading aluminum foil-masked maniacs to their doom while still shedding tears for what they’ve made her do.

Also — a Red Room Dark Web movie!

It also really feels like this wasn’t a throwaway film for the filmmakers who just wanted to make something that was elevated from horror. They also find some ways to make it weird, with strange camera angles, odd speeds of the film, off-sound design and just plain smart moments where we hear instead of see things happen. Yet it’s not ashamed to be a big dumb slasher and give you moments to just yell at the screen. Wow. I’m an evangelist for this one. Watch it!

You can check Kristy out on Tubi.

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