02nd Apr2013

‘Girls Against Boys’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Liam Aiken, Michael Stahl-David, Andrew Howard | Written and Directed by Austin Chick


Ah, the rape-revenge movie. A bastion of the horror movies since the 70s, the genre has seen some great, and some not so great films fall under the banner of “rape-revenge” including such greats as the female-led I Spit on Your Grave and Savage Streets. Now comes Girls Against Boys, which picks up the mantel from those films and runs it straight into dullsville.

The film tells the story of Shae (Panabaker), a college student all set to spend the weekend in the Hamptons with her much-older lover. However just before their trip he calls off the relationship and reveals he has a wife and kid which sends Shae into a state of shock and depression. But she still has to go to work right? Right. Spending some quality time sobbing in the back room of the bar where she works, Shae attracts the attention of co-worker Lu, a hard-ass redhead who instinctively knows Shae has guy problems and invites her out for a night on the town to drown her sorrows.

A lot of drinks later and Shae and Lu head off to two guys’ apartment for more drinks and more partying. The partying soon spirals out of control however as Shae ends up blind drunk and is raped by one of the guys, Simon, as he takes her home the next morning. With the cops even less interested in the crime than is usual in genre flicks, Shae turns to Lu for help. And, the psycho that she is, Lu suggests the pair get their own brand of revenge on Simon and his pal. And so the revenge portion of this rape-revenge tale begins…

Now at this juncture I normally be praising the “awesome torture sequences” or the “cleverly plotted ways in which the pair exact their revenge” but not with Girls Against Boys. No here we get a brief, but not gory scene in which the girls slice off Simon’s friends feet (mostly off-camera) before shooting him in the head; the utterly inconsequential attack on Simon, who also gets shot in the head. And finally the pair make a move on Shae’s lover which is just as mundane and dull a revenge as the rest! Oh, and he gets shot too. So much for revenge girls.

Girls Against Boys takes a turn into Single White Female territory toward the latter third of the movie (once the revenge portion of the story is over and done with) which doesn’t help proceedings at all and just proves that yes, Lu is a complete psycho for no reason other than she just is. There’s no explanation for her actions or her behaviour, leaving a gaping hole in the films already meagre and unsatisfying story.

In the end Girls Against Boys is an unengaging, unemotional movie that, unlike many of it genre contemporaries, stirs up nothing in its audience – this revenge is a very cold dish indeed. Sadly for the exploitation movie fans there’s not even any decent torture sequences which are usually so prevalent in these types of films as director Austin Chick shys away from anything too detailed. It all seems a bit of a waste of time to be honest.

** 2/5


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