Monday, January 25, 2016

Kristy (2014)

We’ve all had that feeling. You are alone in an empty building. Could be working late. Could be sitting at home reading. And then you are sure that someone is out there trying to kill you. Yep I know that feeling well… Wait, that look on your face. Are you trying to tell me you’ve never had that experience before? Well my cat tries to kill me all the time, so I know just how Justine feels.

Justine (Haley Bennett) is planning on staying at her university over the Thanksgiving break. Her roommate makes plans to stay too, but a family commitment pulls her back home. Justine is left with a couple security guards and the local groundskeeper Scott (James Ransone) to share pumpkin pie with. At first Justine has some fun wandering around the empty school and even calling her boyfriend Aaron (Lucas Till) and trying to make him jealous over all the fun she is having.

But things take a turn when she runs into a unsettling girl, Violet (Ashley Greene) at the local convenience store. Violet is just plain creepy and seems to fixate on Justine, calling her Kristy a couple times. Justine’s drive home includes a freaky little detour and when she gets back on campus she’s convinced that Violet is up to no good. Turns out, she is right. Violet shows up with three hulking men armed with blades and bats. These men are wearing tin foil masks and start to hunt Justine. Is this all linked to the rash of disappearances and murders of girls across the U.S? And just what does Violet mean when she keeps calling Justine “Kristy”.

Good Points:
  • An interesting set up with Justine, we like her character
  • Greene does a fine job making Violet creepy as all hell
  • Some good moments of tension and scares

Bad Points:
  • The opening sequence feels out of place with the rest of the film
  • The movie jumps from tranquil to chase too quickly. Needed to build the suspense a bit more
  • Some leaps of logic pull you out of the movie


The set up for this movie actually works well. We like Justine and find out a little bit about her as she moves through her day. It actually reminded me a bit of Ti West’s set up for House of the Devil. Once Violet shows up, she really adds the creepiness to the film. But that is also the point where things switch gears too quickly. The movie jumps into chase mode, instead of building the tension with Justine realizing that Violet brought her goons and they are hunting her down. Some scare and tension are generated, but nothing is really sustained. The result is a film that is fine for a weekend viewing and if you want to see Bennett and Greene in atypical roles. They both do a good job. I also like how we had a female brain behind what turns out to be ritual serial killings. A neat concept that may have needed another pass with the script to make it a must see.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 3
Acting: 4
Script: 3
Music: 2
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 3
Total:  3

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  1. My house has a partly finished basement that I use as a library. Guests find the very existence of the level spooky, perhaps because it is usually dark and can’t be closed off: there is an open stairway from the hall. Naturally, as in any house there are odd creaks and noises that emanate from that level. I always reassure guests that I never fail to chain the troll for the night, but that doesn’t seem to relieve their unease. I must admit sometimes in the middle of the night to wondering about thumping I hear on the steps: so far it’s always been my cat who for some reason gives up his feline soft-step at night in favor of the stomp, but maybe this time…

    1. Yeah there are still all kinds of new sounds we are experiencing in our house. We haven't been here a year yet, but I figured the strangest one (a group of crows holding some kind of committee on the roof) was the oddest one. But with winter settling in the house has been doing some odd creaking and shifting. It is always a little alarming when the cat just starts staring up at the ceiling after one of those sounds. We both wonder, what the hell was that? Hopefully just another crow and not Violet.

  2. I'd never heard of this one, but it sounds interesting enough. I'd been meaning to watch House of the Devil, but haven't because I'll get sidetracked by other titles that grab my attention.

    I've switched my watching of horror to true life horror by watching the ID (Investigation Discovery) channel. Some of the things on that channel do make my hair stand on end not only because they actually happened, but also because they are so deplorable.
    It's hard to imagine how cruel and heartless some humans are, but I guess it's best to be on guard and face that reality.

    1. House of the Devil is pretty good. It is a nice throwback to 70 style horror films. The ending is a bit over the top, but it works well enough. I think I like "The Innkeepers" a bit more, that had much more humor in it. But this one does have some funny moments at the beginning.

      Yeah my wife is a fan of true crime shows. I can only watch so much of that before I despair of humanity. I like my horror more fantastical.