Or: Hey! I love this song!
Let us prey.
Three best friends embark on a road trip to a heavy-metal show, where they bond with three aspiring musicians and head off to one of the girls’ country home for an after-party.
The year is 1988 – and Alexis Butler – and her two besties Val and Bev are on their way to a heavy metal gig. On the wide open road, they’re minding their own business when a milkshake is hurled against their windshield by the van in front. On arrival at the venue, the girls recognise the van in question and exact a little cheeky revenge on its occupants: Ivan, Kovacs and Mark.
Being impossibly gorgeous the girls have zero issues attracting the boys – and they all decide to hang together during the show. This leads into the after party, which takes place at Alexis’ father’s empty mansion. Bev in particular has caught the eye of cute metal babe Mark. I should probably mention that up until now, our intro has been peppered with news reports about a spate of brutal Satanic murders across the state…
At daddy’s mansion, the party continues as the booze and banter flows. During a game of Truth or Dare however, the women reveal they’ve drugged the dudes and are planning an incredible showstopper – their brutal murders set up to look like a Satanic ritual. Ooooh. Turns out Alexis and co aren’t quite who they say they are. They’re The Daughters of the Dawn and they have a very pressing mission: to send panicked patrons to their church in droves – and nothing panics good people like a good old-fashioned series of Satanic murders. Right?
So here we are, men tied up and ready to go – it’s a done deal. Or is it? Well, the seemingly simple triple homicide takes a turn when the boys fight back – and our antagonists start to unravel under the pressure of their first kills (the church have been taking turns and have wracked up 18 to date). Bev is having second thoughts after meeting nice guy Mark – and there’s a fierce rivalry between Alexis and Val, who can’t agree on how to handle the situation. Things become more challenging when the surviving boys, Mark and Kovacs, lock themselves in the pantry – and Alexis’ much loathed ex-stepmom Susan rocks up to pick up her passport from the house.
Can the Daughters hold it together long enough to pull this off?
Throw Alexis’ dad (Johnny Knoxville) into the mix – and an uneasy alliance between Bev and the final boys – and I would say maybe not. I mean, that’s why we’re all here after all. What comes next is a fight to death – like all good 80’s horror movies only one (or so) can be left standing at the end. Who will it be?
This movie starts well – who doesn’t enjoy 80’s hair metal in a rock concert setting? Three cool women as the central characters who turn out to be bad to the bone? HELLO! Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite execute itself as well as I’d have liked. The premise seems a little flimsy – and I would have preferred if it had been about real Satanic killings. Maybe that would have been less original but I would have bought it more.
And – I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again for the people in the back – I love bad characters who never redeem themselves. All three girls’ crimes are written off as brainwashing by the church which may be true but can we not just have rotten characters for the sake of rotten characters please? Just one? Of all the girls Val seems the most up for murderous fun – and we don’t get enough of it frankly.
The performances are fine – I have a soft spot for Alexandra Daddario, who very quickly turns from sassy bad girl into manic daddy’s girl under her father’s disapproving gaze. There’s nothing wrong with any of the performances if I’m honest – the 80’s setting is wonderful – and the soundtrack slaps incredibly hard. Especially the addition of T’Pau’s Heart & Soul in the closing credits – but it’s ultimately a bit empty and not very memorable.
But the good news is that Jill and I are doing horror for the month of March so there will be plenty more opportunity for us to redeem ourselves. Or make this film seem like an Academy Award winning Best Picture picture. We’ll see.
Rating: 3 black kohl eyeliners out of 5