What if the university campus is your home and it is invaded by bad people wanting to kill you? That’s what Oliver Blackburn’s horror thriller Kristy wants to find out.
(USA 2014, director: Oliver Blackburn)
College girl Justine spends Thanksgiving alone at campus and becomes the target of a group of masked psychopaths who kill the innocent.
Sometimes the most effective way to evoke fear in the audience, hold its attention and feel sympathy for the characters is to keep it simple. There’s not much of a story here, and except for a few scenes, it all plays out in the confinements of the campus, which is a suitable setting for isolation and the stalkers who hunt Justine.
The premise of the movie is quite hard to swallow with its idea of people only killing innocent girls and giving them the name of Kristy. It’s made even more controversial with the allusion to Christ(ianity). But that’s what makes this horror more realistic and unsettling than your standard slasher movie. Of course it still abides by its rules of having a survivor girl who has to fight against unknown assailants. But it just works here, which has much to do with the main protagonist being both likeable and relatable. Being on a deserted campus is also a strong atmospheric element that is not only used for suspense, but also for some rather interesting what-would-you-do scenes.
Despite having more thriller than horror elements, the kills are still quite vicious, and like 13 Sins, it’s strange to again see the 16+ age certification on the German BD. Violence may not be as explicitly gory as in You’re Next, but there are a few rather unpleasant in-your-face moments. However, the violence and bloodshedding never feel gratuitous, and the transformation of the main protagonist into a threat to her aggressors is just as convincing as her former vulnerability, making it all the more satisfying to see her take things (or nails) into her own hands.
The great soundtrack with a good selection of catchy songs, but also with a very strong score is another highlight, and unlike You’re Next, it’s not annoying but adds to the atmosphere without coming across as too brutal. What makes the movie also stand out is that it doesn’t try to be too clever (except maybe for an extra ending after the credits roll).
Kristy is certainly not a contender for most original slasher or home invasion thriller, and it won’t be for those who like a stronger story with many twists, or even an illustrious cast of memorable characters. It’s simply a very entertaining but also scary flick with even the first 20 minutes or so building up the atmosphere without boring the audience with too much irrelevant talk. It might be considered sick due to its subject matter, but that makes it even more disturbing and stand out from other home invasion horror movies.
It’s surprising to see that it also hasn’t seen a release outside of Germany, so if you get the chance, import it, as it includes English audio as well. It’s even available as a 3D BD, but as it wasn’t shot this way and certain German 3D conversions are nothing more than a quick cash-in, I’d be careful about that one (although the setting would lend itself to this format).
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