Tragedy Girls is being marketed as Clueless meets Scream, which is pretty accurate—it’s a slasher parody, but this time, the teenage girls are the hunters instead of the hunted. Sadie (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla (Alexandra Shipp) are the high school BFFs behind a true crime vlog that follows a string of murders in their small Midwestern town. But after Sadie and McKayla capture the serial killer, they embark on their own killing spree—with their bloodlust intensifying with each like and follow.
Though it’s risky to make a film with sadistic murderers as the protagonists, this duo is disarmingly likeable. And they’re funny: At one point McKayla describes her motorcycle-riding ex (Josh Hutcherson, AKA Peeta from The Hunger Games) as a “crotch rocket” and a “hottie with a hog.” You’ll root for these baby serial killers, even as they’re dismembering classmates in the school gym.
It’s the dark little details that make Tragedy Girls great. (The high school’s underwater, Titanic-themed prom is billed as “a night to remember.”) The film’s playful, grim tone is perfectly mirrored by its soundtrack, specifically the Cults’ song “Always Forever,” which sounds as sticky-sweet as corn syrup fake blood. (Speaking of fake blood, prepare for lots.)
Tragedy Girls has one fatal flaw: The only traceable motive for Sadie and McKayla’s madness is their black-mirror vanity and mutual petty jealousy. That seems a little too dependent on reductive stereotypes about the dangers of teenage girls using social media in 2017. Ingrid Goes West made the same mistake with its female characters, and surprise! Both movies were written and directed by men.
Honestly though, even that couldn’t stop me from loving Tragedy Girls. It’s delightfully fucked up, and challenges what it means to be a scream queen.