New to DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment is the revenge thriller “Girls Against Boys”. The newest film from writer/director Austin Chick, Girls against boys features Danielle Panabaker in a rare bad girl role after she takes drastic actions after a sexual assault is not followed up on accordingly by the police. So how does Girls Against Boys hold up to other twisted tales of revenge?
Girls Against Boys
Starring: Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Liam Atkin, Michael Stahl-David and Andrew Howard
Written and Directed by Austin Chick
After Shae (Panabaker), a college student that is having an affair with an older married man, is assaulted by several men in a matter of days she reaches her breaking point. Shae is drawn into co-worker Lu’s (LaLiberte) twisted plan for revenge against all men. Together, the two embark on a gruesome killing spree, terrorizing and brutally murdering not just their attackers, but any man who gets in their way. However, after a wild weekend of retaliation, the friendship between the girl’s shifts into a dangerous obsession and the question then becomes will Shae be able to survive and lead a normal life?
Girls Against Boys starts off with a badly executed ‘break up’ sequence where the Shae gets told by Howard’s Terry that he cannot see her anymore because he is getting back with his wife and its better for everyone to call it off. It’s the stereotypical speech we’ve seen many times before. Shae works in a bar so she promptly meets Lu at work, gets drunk after hours and the pair goes home with 2 guys, one of whom rapes her. She is assaulted and almost raped again the very next day. Somehow the demented Lu, whom she has just met, becomes the only person she can turn to. This setup leads to an even more bizarre and ludicrous second and third act that has the girls all of the sudden turn into stone cold killers.
Panabaker is really let down by the limitations of the script here, she has been much better in other roles. The real issue here is LaLiberte whose performance is far from convincing. Her interpretation of how to portray the mentally disturbed Lu involves bugging her eyes out and tilting her head when she speaks. The performance comes across as wooden and uninterested and her final scene is laughably bad. The men in the script are only shown as attackers and victims with no character development or personality so even when we are supposed to cheer or be upset with characters dying we have so little investment that it means nothing.
For a production as low budget as this credit must be given to the behind the scenes crew as the locations and set decoration actually look very good. The settings of Shae’s apartment, way too nice for a student, and the nightclub she works in actually look pretty effective that allows the film to have a better look than the budget would entail.
Coming without any special features other than an audio commentary with writer/director Chick and star Panabaker, the Blu-ray is pretty bare bones. The Blu-ray currently sells for under $25 on Amazon.ca and is available at other retailers as well.
Ultimately Girls Against Boys brings nothing new to the direct to home video genre, except for one very poor performance from Laliberte. Panabaker escapes unscathed here, but another movie or two of this calibre could doom her to direct to home video for quite some time.
1 ½ stars out of 5
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