Girls Against Boys follows in the footsteps of films like I Spit on Your Grave and The Last House on the Left, dealing with issues such as rape, obsession, and relationships. Director Austin Chick (whose other films include XX/XY and August) really branches out with this horror/thriller/revenge film. Even though Chick hasn’t done many films, it is a surprise to see him deviate to such an extreme genre.
I was sad to see that this movie only has 4.8 stars on IMDb. In no way does this film belong on the same stage as I Spit on Your Grave or The Last House on the Left, but it definitely deserves better than 4.8 stars. Now, I have been known to love some real cheesy duds in my day, but a rating of 6 stars would be fair and conservative in my opinion.
There is some pretty decent character development for the two main characters, Shae (played by Danielle Panabaker) and Lulu (played by Nicole LaLiberte). Shae, a college student by day and bartender by night, is dealing with a breakup. Lulu (called Lu for short) notices how upset Shae is about being dumped and suggests that they go get a drink which turns into a big party night full of drinking, dancing, and hanging out with some guys that they meet. When Shae declines the advance of one of the guys, he offers to just take her home and she agrees. When they arrive, he is still not satisfied and rapes her in the stairwell of her apartment. As horrible as any mention of rape is, this scene is tame and pans away – definitely not equivalent to the rape scenes in the above mentioned film.
The following day, both girls go to the police, who seem of no help at all. Lu decides they need to take matters into their own hands. Revenge!! When Lu makes her first kill, Shae is strangely excited and unsympathetic. They then sit in the kitchen eating cereal while a dead man lies on the floor – a scene that I find both amusing and disturbing all at once. From this point on, Lu and Shae kill any man who gets in their way.
Danielle Panabaker is perfect for the part of Shae. You may know her from Friday the 13th (2009), Mr. Brooks, The Crazies, The Ward, and Piranha 3DD. She has an angelic face and is able to show subtle sociopathic behavior very convincingly. Nicole LaLiberte, on the other hand, is quite different. She oozes sex appeal with her fiery red hair in an unusual and cat-like way, whom I first noticed in Gregg Araki’s film, Kaboom. Even though this film is definitely not original, the strong female leads keep you locked in.
There are a few things in the film that make me cringe, and I don’t mean that in a good way. At the beginning of the film, Shae is dating a married man which is totally unbelievable because he is old, bald, and ugly. Not that there is anything wrong with being bald, but it is weird to see such a pretty young girl being hung up on some normal old dude. Towards the end of the film, Shae miraculously has a moment of clarity and realizes Lu may be a little too crazy. They both murder people, but hey, you have to draw the line somewhere! It’s very unrealistic, but so are zombies. So just enjoy it for what it is.
What really clinches my like for this film though is the very end. The final hoorah and showdown happens on Halloween night. Nice touch. The end is super bizarre and probably the main reason I like it. It’s nice to see a horror film with women as eradicators and men as weak victims. In this sense, Girls Against Boys reminds me slightly of American Mary (though American Mary is far superior). It may also be because I saw these films around the same time. Despite the many flaws, I think this film is a mild success and I will back it up. I have already watched it twice and it won’t be my last time either.
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