One of my least favorite eras in horror is easily lead by the ‘90s. Every good slasher franchise began spinning their wheels out of the ‘80s and turned in their worst efforts in the ‘90s. Jason and Freddy weren’t relevant anymore, box office returns said so and the lack of following sequels spoke to that. What followed were direct-to-video knock offs of ‘80s slashers and an obscene amount of unnecessary sequels on the shelf at Blockbuster.
Then there was Wes Craven’s Scream, more or less the pinnacle of ‘90s slashers. It was smart, it had enough callbacks to previous work and the genre in-general. There are still people who aren’t fans, but I can’t buy it if those same people say the opening sequence with Drew Barrymore wasn’t masterful, because it was in so many ways.
So why am I talking about the ‘90s? Because the ‘90s are back in Anthony DiBlasi’s Most Likely to Die. I can’t say I’m awfully familiar with DiBlasi’s work other than his 2014 Last Shift which had enough haunted house stuff going for it, but failed in its terribly predictable ending. Most Likely to Die is a through and through ‘90s slasher complete with utterly superficial characters and one who is a bit estranged/ the outcast because of something that happened that isn’t fully explained from the beginning.
Now this isn’t Scream or even Scream 2, but what DiBlasi did was make something at least watchable and the characters didn’t completely ruin the affair. I’ll say upfront that I’d rather watch this than anything out of the I Know What You Did Last Summer camp or Urban Legends. It has enough of the ‘90s slasher in it: a killer out for revenge against a group of teens (now adults in Most Likely), a solid costume that isn’t like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, and a, ugly secret the group harbors.
So why is this worth watching? Well, it’s on Netflix, so free is a good reason. Other than that, the costume of The Graduate (that’s his actual name, they even say it in the movie) is pretty cool looking. There’s a super brutal kill that kind of just seems out of place compared to the others, which is awesome. To top it all off, the killer and the secret are so ‘90s that even if the ‘90s sucked, the callback works.
This isn’t a star studded lineup, Jake Busey plays the caretaker of the property where this all goes down and Perez Hilton is one of the guys in the group of friends on the Graduate’s kill list.
It’s on Netflix, so it’s at least worth checking out because it’s free and if you liked anything from the ‘90s I say give it a shot. Most Likely to Die is better than some of the stuff you probably watched from that era and in a land of reboots, an original throwback movie is much better than whatever Texas Chainsaw reboot/prequel/whatever we get next.