Everyone has a secret to die for.
When I heard about this becoming a movie, I was cautiously excited. The book was written by Stephanie Perkins a few years ago and I read it back then. I didn’t think it was a stellar book, but Stephanie and her husband Jarod are obsessed with horror movies and I thought it would translate well to the screen. I just had to wait for a weekend when my boyfriend could watch it with me because I wasn’t sure this was something I could watch by myself.
Makani Young has moved to a small Nebraska town to live with her grandmother and finish high school. But what should have been an exciting senior year turns into terror as someone begins killing off seniors and exposing their dark secrets. The killer is terrorizing their victims with masks of their faces. Makani and her friends need to find out who the killer is before their own secrets make them the next targets.
I want to make a disclaimer first and say that I don’t generally watch horror movies. I don’t really know anything about their clichés or tropes.
But that said, I kind of liked this. It’d been long enough that I didn’t remember fully the plot of the book or who the murderer was. So those were nice surprises. I thought the acting was fairly decent. I didn’t feel like anyone was over the top in their portrayal of being scared or anything. And I really liked that there was a lead of color.
As my boyfriend pointed out as we watched, there are some pretty obvious red herrings in the movie, where it wants you to believe it’s someone that it’s clearly not. Those maybe weren’t the most impressive parts, but I thought Makani’s flashbacks revealing her own secrets were well done, tantalizing enough to give you enough information to know something happened without giving you nearly enough to figure it out. The story unfolded fairly well, really hyping up the terror of the moments, even if there were times it was predictable.
As someone who doesn’t like gore very much, there were definitely moments that were waaaaay to gross for me. There were some…inventive killings. There were times blood spurts everywhere. Some murders I could watch, others I flinched hard and looked away so I can’t tell you exactly what those looked like. But I will say the deaths felt weirdly satisfying in how they were committed? That feels weird to say, but it is a slasher flick, so…
The last thing I really want to say about this is that this is definitely for mature audiences. If it was rated, it would be R. There’s profanity all the time, characters smoke pot and drink and generally engage in fairly typical teenage behavior that just happens to get a harsher rating. I thought the way it was played felt very real to high school (I heard all those words in the halls, I know people did those drugs, etc.). But I know that’s hard for some people to stomach and I wanted you to know it was there.
Anyway, I rather enjoyed it. And it actually isn’t “scary” in the way I thought it would be. It could be because I didn’t watch it alone, but I definitely didn’t feel creeped out afterward like I was expecting.