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[Review] ‘Most Likely to Die’ Sticks to the Slasher Playbook

Last year, Anthony DiBlasi’s Last Shift was a sleeper indie horror hit. After it popped up on Netflix, it garnered a ton of favorable reviews and even made it on to some Top 10 of 2015 lists (our own Trace listed it as one of the most surprising movies of the year). Last Shift’s impressive word-of-mouth success raised expectations for DiBlasi’s follow-up, Most Likely to Die – a film written by Laura Brennan during the slasher resurgence of the 90s that has sat on a shelf until now.

While Last Shift was loaded with effective atmosphere and anchored by a heroine you could root for, Most Likely to Die is standard slasher tropes across the board. From its story beats to its kills, there’s really nothing here that horror fans haven’t seen a dozen times before. A pack of attractive people head to a remote house where they have casual sex, endure relationship drama, and are picked off one by one by a masked killer. In this case, their unique high school yearbook superlatives inspire their kills: “Most Likely to Break Your Heart,” “Most Likely to Get the Last Laugh,” “Most Likely to Have Their Name in Lights.” You get the gist.

The group has assembled for a 10-year reunion. Quickly they reminisce about how kick ass they were in high school and compare their varying degrees of success post-graduation. Things turn dark when they recollect a horrible prank gone wrong. The victim of their maliciousness, John Doe, wound up leaving school and is presumed dead. The killer, dressed in a graduation gown that has a few surprises attached, begins picking them off as they wonder if it could be John Doe, back for bloody revenge.

It’s a no-frills slasher story that’s light on plot and character development. Some of the characters are paper thin. For that reason, I think fans who just want to watch something brisk with a classic slasher vibe are going to dig Most Likely to Die. When the film does exceed expectations a little, it does so by being completely ridiculous. This happens mainly thanks to the killer. In the final 15 minutes or so there are some fun kills, including one that legit made me “Oh shit!” aloud. Tension is light throughout the film, but one scene set in the gated alley next to the house is particularly anxious. That was easily my favorite set piece.

Aside from those moments, there’s little that stands out. On the acting side, everyone is simply okay. The standouts are Jake Busey and Perez Hilton – a sentence I can’t believe I just wrote. Busey stands out because it’s baffling why he’s in this movie at all. He’s inserted in the film for absolutely no reason other than to creepily oogle one of the girls as she gets undressed. That’s it. And Hilton delivers some much-needed comic relief with his over the top performance and high-pitched screams. I never thought I’d want to see more Perez Hilton in a movie. What a world.

DiBlasi has a diverse list of films under his belt. From the Clive Barker adaptation Dread to the erotic Mormon thriller Missionary (which I really enjoyed) and last year’s Last Shift, he’s proved himself to be a formidable horror filmmaker on the rise. That’s why I was hoping Most Likely to Die would be more than a run-of-the-mill slasher with little surprises. If you’re just looking for a pick-em-off slasher ripped from the playbook, check it out. But if you’re interested in something meatier, wait until this one’s streaming free somewhere.

Most Likely to Die is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other streaming services and in select theaters.



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COMMENTS

13 Comments
  • J Jett

    i just watched this the other day and i agree w/ the 2 skull rating. the movie is not the worst thing ever by any means but it’s also very bland and forgettable. none of the characters (including the mane “final girl”) are likable.

    Patick, i agree that the gated alley scene was cool. the problem with that scene though it that it only lasts about 3 seconds and then it’s over. i was a tad irked that the director didn’t take advantage of that alley setting and make the scene last longer (which could have allowed for a tense scene where the killer taunts the would be victim/takes his time to reaching said would be victim).

    lastly, IMO most of the acting (especially the lead blonde girl) was pretty bad.
    Patrick, i take it that the one murder you are referring to that stood out involved a hockey stick, right? if so, i agree that that one was pretty good. the one that i thought was at least original and pretty cool involved (i’m trying not to spoil anything/too much) the killer using his/her hands to tear something completely off.

    • Patrick Cooper

      I was referring to the graduation cap kill. It happens so fast and is so ridiculous that it worked for me. And yeah, I wish that alley scene was longer.

      • J Jett

        oh! yeah, i agree that graduation cap kill was crazy! lol. i give the movie credit for originality in regards to the graduation cap weapon.

      • Will Seamon

        I agree, the graduation cap throw followed by the killer pushing Bella against the table tearing her head off was insane. It was the one moment in this movie that actually stuck with me afterwards, and made the killer seem like a legitimate threat.

  • Kyle Ord

    One of the worst movies I have ever watched

    I personally thought it was awful and I regretted watching it

  • Cody

    I semi-enjoyed this one. Though I was extremely annoyed by Perez’s character throughout and wanted him to get the worst death of them all. I loved Heather Morris as the lead, she felt pretty real in the portrayal. She wasn’t necessarily a goodie-goodie, but she wasn’t bad either. The one thing that annoyed me was how many characters survived, and the killer reveal and motive was pretty stupid. And the last shot was frustrating in a way because it made the movie feel unfinished. And semi-predictable.

    • J Jett

      Cody i agree 100% that the final shot was frustrating. it also IMO doesn’t make any sense unless **** *** (trying not to spoil) didn’t die like the killer said he did and was a co-killer/partner with the main killer…but even that wouldn’t make sense. why would main killer tell the remaining survivors a fake story about **** ***? yeah, stupid, unnecessary ending “GOTCHA!” scene/twist.

      • Cody

        I assumed they were in it together in some way and the killer only told the story just to mess with them. But I agree it made no sense and no real closure. The recruitment aspect was just dumb too.

  • So this was overall a fun watch. It’s been so long since we’ve had a generic body count movie that it actually felt fresh in some ways. I agree the alley scene was the most tense moment and wish we could’ve gotten a bit more of that (future slasher prerequisite- at least three intense chase scenes…just sayin’). Id say overall it’s worth a watch for slasher fans. Just don’t expect a game changer.

  • Halloween_Vic

    I’m so desperate for a Slasher flick that I’m actually excited to watch this. But ughh Perez Hilton??? Can’t stand his ass.

    • J Jett

      Vic, just keep your expectations/excitement for this movie at a reasonable/low-ish level and you may end up enjoying it! 🙂

      • Halloween_Vic

        Lol I definitely will, it’s that I’m so desperate for new Slasher films that I’m excited to see this but by the trailer itself I’m definitely not going to get my hopes up.

  • tbaio

    Yup, this definitely follows “the formula” to the letter. But, it was still a fun watch…never boring. If anything original can be mentioned, its the villain’s weapon of choice which was clever. Also, the movie is very atmospheric; a beautiful location was used for the shoot. Although nothing exceptional, its way better than Last Shift which was this director’s previous film (God, did that one suck). Worth a look for Scream fans & fans of slasher body count movies.

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