Ah, Most Likely To Die. Another I Know What You Did Last Summer copycat. Gather some friends who hold an ugly secret and let their own demons pile the bodies one by one. Slasher 101 class in session, kiddies! It’s familiar territory we’ve seen executed time and time again, but filmmaker Anthony DiBlasi attempts to school the competition despite outrageous odds. Admittedly, we’re in need of a good 90s slasher comeback, but by comparison, DiBlasi’s post-graduation horror simply doesn’t make the grade. There are just too many better slasher films out there, boasting higher ambitions than “Most Likely To Deliver Exactly – And Predictably – As Advertised.”
It all starts when a group of high school buddies get together for a reunion, sharing the same swanky house. There’s Brad (Ryan Doom), a hotshot television actor, Gaby (Heather Morris), a professional poker player, Freddie (Perez Hilton), a recovering alcoholic – you get the picture. Many different people with lives they’ve left behind, ready to be tested when a ghost from their past starts spilling blood. When the classmates begin turning up cold, one by one, they fear a “harmless” prank from their youth may have doomed them all – a sentence that’s more than deserved when the actual truth is revealed.
Too bad there’s nothing here but one gnarly kill, a silly abundance of poker analogies and yet another scenario where mean people get exactly what’s coming to them. There’s a moral quandary at play, begging the question of if these “matured” pranksters deserve brutal murders, but it’s never handled with sympathy in mind. Information leaks out slowly, and builds incomplete pictures of a gang who is most likely to die a forgettable fate in some low-budget slasher hopeful. The pieces are there – costumed killer, death sequences, scared victims – but they’re never elevated. Half the time it looks like a cheapo skin-flick is about to cue in, while the other half is Gaby droning on about “putting chips in the middle” and “folding bad hands.”
I understand a want to run some type of tonal theme throughout Most Likely To Die, but poker? Sure, a comment here or there about life relating to a gauntlet fought on felt is fine, but Gaby’s dialogue is more laughable than poetic. Entire dramatic moments requite a translation from Phil Hellmuth, as ex-lovers fight in gambling code – none of which is aided by lackluster acting. In one particular scene, Perez Hilton (yes, THAT Hilton) glimpses a dead body, screams and runs out the door in some fit of unwatchable lunacy. Then there’s Jake Busey (yes, THAT Busey), who creepily lurks for a single scene, only to be killed off as a pointless red herring. When weak writing and stiff acting collide, the result is typically ugly.
That said, there’s one pretty righteous death where a graduation cap is flung à la the Hard Ticket To Hawaii frisbee scene, which confirms that Anthony DiBlasi has vision – it’s just hampered by restraint. This isn’t a big-budget effort, nor is it treated as such. Production value appears to use a crew member’s vacation house, and effects are rarely mystifying. Easily, one by one, characters are offed by utilizing the trickery of camera angles, like a schoolchild pretending to eat a pencil by putting it past his/her mouth. Tack on a sequel-ready ending that makes almost no sense given the scenario, and you have an urban legend which is more blunder than brag-worthy.
Most Likely To Die is the kind of slasher that gets a hot actress naked in the first minute or two, establishing a scintillating bit of sleaze, but only because there’s little else to offer. You’re tempted – rightfully so – by Skyler Vallo’s welcome homecoming, but then led astray once a cast of unlikable stereotypes gets drunk and horny, ready to disappoint just like back in high school. There’s certainly room for more good slashers in the horror landscape, but Anthony DiBlasi just can’t bluff his way through this one.
What? If this movie is allowed to make five poker puns per scene, I’m allowed one to finish my review!
Most Likely To Die evokes all the regrettable moments of high school slashers, and none of the fun.