Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All Girls Weekend: Deforestation Now, for Our Children’s Sake

If you are doing a spot of polluting here or there, you should really just raze the landscape and salt the charred earth. If not, you are risking Gaiac supernatural happenings in the tradition of M. Night Shyamalan and Larry Fessenden’s Last Winter. Such seems to be the fate of a group of old high school frienemies hiking near a “cursed” mill, except things get a little more slashery in Lou Simon’s All Girls Weekend (trailer here), which releases today on VOD.

Even though they used to pick on her for being fat, the now attractive Daniela organizes a weekend outing with her old high school “friends.” Gem and Stephanie are now tiresome Facebook addicts, but at least Nancy is still the same leather jacket donning bad apple. Much to everyone’s surprise she brings a guest: Annie, a bartending co-worker getting over a rough divorce. Frankly, the film can’t seem to decide whether it wants to imply a lesbian relationship between the two, but in any event. Annie is the only one Nancy can stand.

Eventually the women set off to do outdoorsy things, like riding zip-lines and falling backward and catching each other. However, things take an ominous turn when Daniela leads them off on an impromptu hike down an unmarked “natural” trail. Getting to the scenic lookout is no problem, but no matter how long they trudge, they can’t seem to get any distance from this foul corner of the woods. As not so random accidents befall the group, their situation becomes rather fraught. The high-pitched tone is also rather worrisome. Then things start to get a little bloody.

So, basically nature is evil and must be eradicated? That seem a little hardcore, but it is the only logical reading we can glean from Weekend. Regardless, the title is bound to be a bitterly disappointing bait-and-switch for many VOD customers. There are absolutely no naughty bits to found in the film, even though the “Surewood” production company listed in the opening credits might raise some false hopes.

Instead, Simon serves up a crushingly dull first act. After five minutes, we so get the frienemy dealio. That said, it should be admitted the snarkiness Jamie Bernadette unleashes as Nancy is the best thing going in this film. Katie Carpenter also makes the character of Daniela much more interesting to watch than she probably deserves to be. Sharron Calvin is reasonably engaging as Annie, but the boring one and the really talky and annoying one just can’t get killed off soon enough.

Weekend’s cheap, pedestrian look does not help much either. It just starts to feel like a long, cold, monotonous hike. Not recommended, All Girls Weekend releases today on VOD platforms, including iTunes.