September 8, 2014

(Import) Blu-ray Review: Random (Kristy) (2015)
The last time we heard from director Oliver Blackburn, he gave us the stylish "crack whores on a boat" movie, Donkey Punch (our review HERE.)

Donkey Punch was a well-made movie that boasted some gorgeous visuals, some intense moments, and a few gore gags that we really liked.

We mention all of this to make the point that Oliver Blackburn definitely has a flair for the visual when he's behind the camera, and he does a great job at establishing a creepy/unsettling/intense mood using isolated settings...

As pretty and effective as both Donkey Punch, and his newest film, Kristy, can be though, they are equally lacking in the script department; both films are full of frustrating situation logistics, and are populated by characters that seem to have no common sense whatsoever.

So in the end we enjoy them, but they piss us off at the same time.

During the opening credits we learn that all over the U.S. there are pretty, young, white girls who are being abducted and murdered, at an alarming rate. Of course it's the disenchanted, poor freaks of the world who are doing the killing, because "Kristy" (which is what they call all of their victims) is the face of God or something... or maybe they've all just been huffing paint. Dunno.

Tinfoil masks are all they could afford.
Justine is a College Student that finds herself stuck at School over the Thanksgiving break, because she can't afford to go home. This strikes us as odd because aside from her, two security guards, and a caretaker, there's absolutely no one else on the whole campus who is staying behind. No one in the movie thinks it's odd though, so what do we know?

Poor, lonely Kristy.
When Justine decides to run to an off-campus store at night) for three crappy things that she could have waited to go get in the morning), she runs into a weird chick named Violet who obviously fancies herself a dark and mysterious rebel of some sort. We know this because she's wearing sunglasses at night, and is throwing magazines on the floor because she does what she wants. Of course Justine pisses her off, and thus seals her fate.

"Do you carry Fritos, Kristy?"
Violet and her tinfoil-masked friends follow Justine back to campus where they proceed to kill the security guards, and then terrorize her, much like a cat will terrorize a small rodent before they eat the poor bastard. Justine eventually gets tired of Violet and crew calling her "Kristy" (and trying to kill her) and decides to fight back! Pissed-off schoolgirl revenge ensues.

Her name isn't even Kristy!
Kristy is basically a "Home Invasion" Thriller in the vein of Them (Ils), The Strangers, You're Next, etc... that does a lot of things right, while doing just as much wrong. It's a pretty movie to look at, it's got a brisk pace that keeps the story moving, and it will most likely thrill younger viewers, who it seems to be more geared more towards.

A lot of people will probably watch this movie because Ashley Green is in it, but we'll be watching for Haley Bennett; mainly because Haley Bennett can act, and everything that we've ever seen Ashley Greene in has left us wondering how she even has a career. We definitely seem to be in the minority on that one, though. 

At it's heart, Kristy is a taut, effective little Thriller that delivers on most of what it promises; of course you have to ignore the parts of the movie that are totally implausible and don't work if you're going to be able to enjoy this one, but this is the Horror Genre, that kind of thing is just par for the course. The bottom line is that we liked this movie, but it also frustrated the ever-loving shit out of us.

Why is she hiding in the "do-it-yourself-murder" section?!?
Lots of things in this movie irked us, and here are a few of them: 

  • Why would you wait until nighttime to run to the store for 5 piddly things that you don't need anyways?
  • After a harrowing experience in which you felt threatened, and you're pretty sure that the people who threatened you have followed you home, why are you looking out of the windows with the lights on?
  • How did the killers just appear out of nowhere in basically every scene?
  • When odd/creepy shit is going down, why do people always call out "Hello?"
  • Why are you walking into a thick fog, shotgun or not, when there are 4 murdering weirdos out there trying to kill you?
  • What's with the whistling?
  • Nice tinfoil and duct-tape masks, losers.
  • With a missing girl all over the news, why would a College not have more staff or security on hand for  the students who are staying behind for the Holiday? In this day and age of liability, it's insane to imagine that a school would be so lackadaisical in its responsibilities like that, even if it were only to cover their own ass. 
  • The music cues were loud and plentiful in this one.

There's nothing worse in a movie like this than when a character is played with far too much affectation. In Kristy, the bad guys annoyed us with their constant tilting of the head; speaking in cryptic or quirky sentences; whistling eerily and scraping things on walls; standing and staring, because it's creepy; their silly "Kristy" motivation... I'm sure all of that was supposed to make them come off as more menacing, insane, or evil, but it really just made them feel like teenagers who were trying to act scary, instead of actually being that way.

Ashley Greene's character was annoying as shit too. I just couldn't buy into her menacing stares, the fact that she hid under a hood for effect, her silly words, or the affected way in which she walked and did everything in this movie. You know when killers in a movie are creepy? When the actors playing them don't try way too frigging hard to be creepy.

How do you even adequately breathe in that thing?
If I hear one more person say that this movie is a rip-off of You're Next, I may scream.

The only thing that this movie has in common with You're Next, is that the killers wear masks, and they stalk their victims... so if anything, people should be saying that Kristy and You're Next both ripped off The Strangers, which would still be crazy, because The Strangers didn't break any new ground with that trope either.

Oh yeah, and the whole "Final Girl fights back" thing is hardly a plot element that You're Next invented; feel free to time travel back to the 80's and watch Amy Steel kick the shit out of Jason Voorhees (F13th Part 2); watch Nancy booby-trap her house and square off against Freddy (ANOES); or watch Kirsty send Pinhead and his gang of Demon cronies right back to hell from whence they came (Hellraiser.)

Kristy/Random/Satanic is, for better or worse, it's own movie with it's own plot, that really doesn't rip-off any other movie in particular. There are very few movies in the Horror Genre that you can watch and not say "hey, this reminds me of that other flick."

So stop.

Oh, get a room already.
There's not a ton of blood and gore in this one, but we do get a few nice deaths to enjoy. The montage during the opening credits was a nice touch.

Aside from a quick scene where Haley Bennett parades around in her undies, this is one sex-free affair.

The more Slashers change, the more they stay the same. Also, Haley Bennett makes one hell of a Final Girl.

Kristy is not hiding in the grass!
Whatever the title is now, Kristy/Random/Satanic is one of those movies that lands dead center between good and bad, The good bits are really effective, and we genuinely liked Haley Bennett's character, and found ourselves pulling for her. The bad, annoying, cliche', silly bits though, kept the movie from being as great as it could have been. This one will definitely be a rental for most people, though the more picky Horror fan will probably wished they had skipped it altogether.


*You can import the Region-Free Blu-ray from for about 15 Euros, if you're so inclined, but it should see a release in the U.S. soon enough, so maybe just wait for a bit and save yourself the shipping fee.

**ADDENDUM: It was recently announced that Kristy would be seeing a proper release in early 2015

Hayley Bennett and Ashley Greene are in this.


  1. I wish you would have liked this more because I absolutely had a blast watching it and I just think its one of those hidden gems that a horror fan has to look out for. I agree with your points on why it wasn't a brilliant movie but I loved it and I thought with the state of the horror genre this year and with the slasher genre practically being dead, I found it refreshing to watch something of this standard. Good review!

  2. Lol. Good review. Saw early screening of this and liked it. I was extra hard on it because it felt like it could have been terrific. Good pool scene and Bennett is fucking yummy

  3. Yummy indeed!

    And Jack, we totally get where you're coming from. Even with its flaws, this movie is a cut above most others of its kind that are released, especially over the past few years. If the script had been just a bit tighter in some areas it could have been B+/A- material.

  4. It was very average. The pool scene reminded me of the one in Gothica with Halle Berry.

  5. Finally saw this last night and I enjoyed it. The cliches mentioned in the review are true, though. I can't believe how the killers would just show up in places in a snap! Should've been used to the jump scare tactics but some of the jump scares here still caught me. Haha! It's a decent film overall and it doesn't look like it's cheaply made in terms of cinematography. The lead was really likeable but her transition to being a "badass" and being able to kill was way too fast. I dunno, maybe if I were in her shoes and being chased by killers, I'd have the guts to kill too. Lol