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  • Rev Horror

Girl Gone Bad

Dir. Kevin Schultz (2022)

A teen girl plans a night in with her girlfriend, but there's nothing an intruder would like more than to ruin her plans.


CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS


Ahhh, to be teenaged again, left home alone to smoke pot, drink beer, and invite your girlfriend over for happyfuntime. Of course, I was a total loser in high school and did absolutely none of those things ever. Samantha (Alison Thornton) is a hell of a lot cooler than me, and when her mom leaves for the night, she invites her girlfriend Amanda (Mya Lowe) over to have a fun filled romantic evening. Unfortunately for her, a masked murderer named Les (Nemo Cartwright) decides to throw a wrench in her plans by invading her home and... immediately having the tables turned on him when Samantha takes him captive in her basement.

Director Kevin Schultz turns the slasher film on its head, flipping the script and having the Final Girl take charge immediately in order to explore the perfect fantasy situation for every horror movie victim. Part coming-of-age teen film, part torture porn, and part relentless home invasion thriller, Girl Gone Bad (originally titled Guiltless) is one of the best indie horror films I've seen in quite a while, and that's saying a lot from someone who watches a couple dozen a month. It's also got a shocking-as-all-hell opening sequence that literally dropped my jaw.


Alison Thornton is flat-out phenomenal in this film, a tour de force of epic proportions. She delivers an almost perfect performance and has one of the rangiest roles in recent memory, from lovestruck teen girl to sadistic psychopath. She's falling apart, and she's bound and determined to take her new visitor with her. With such a nuanced role, Thornton kills the role as well as someone with twice her experience. I'd expect to see her more in the future for sure.

The writing in the film (also credited to Schultz) is excellent, creating a magnificently terrifying character in Samantha. She has some wonderfully chilling lines, berating and threatening like the upper crust of horror movie villains. The ability to weave her character into a film as a "victim" rather than a villain is pretty impressive. Les is disgusting, but you almost feel bad for him as Samantha becomes more and more ruthless. His delirious attempts to gain back the upper hand are pitiful, while Samantha's gleeful self-destruction threatens both of their safeties. By the time the bonkers third act rolls around, the audience has no idea what to expect.

Even as a huge fan of indie horror, it's rare that I come across a film this good. It's incredibly well made and well acted, and both Schultz and Thornton are going to be stars. It's also unfortunately rare that a film like this is able to find an audience, and I'm hoping that Girl Gone Bad breaks that trend. This is one that people are going to love if they're willing to seek it out.


Who this movie is for: Home invasion fans, Indie horror lovers, Motivational speakers


Bottom line: Truly an impressive debut for writer/director Kevin Schultz. I watch a lot of bad movies, and I'm never quite prepared when I come across one this good out of the blue. If you get a chance to check this one out, you definitely need to, because it's excellent, and I can't praise star Alison Thornton enough. Give this one a look if you get the chance, it's on VOD now.

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