I think it’s fair for me to assume that when I get a film to review with the title WTF! attached to it, that I’m gonna exclaim that title out loud to myself at least a few times while I’m watching it. And if it turns out to be a slasher flick (as this one is), then hell to the yeah! I’m gonna yell out WTF a few times for sure, probably during the murder scenes, right? Well, you know what they say about people who assume things…
Rachel (Rooney Mara lookalike Callie Ott) witnessed a horrible crime some time ago and is plagued with horrifying flashbacks that are affecting her day to day life. Her brother, Toby (Nick Reilly), and her friend Bonnie (Paris Hilton lookalike Andrea Hunt) convince her to accompany them to a Spring Break party that’s taking place at the cabin belonging to the uncle of one of their mutual friends. The rest of the crew joining them is assembled with the usual motley crew of horny, stoner college kid stereotypes that you’ve seen a hundred times before, there’s nothing unique about them at all. Once they arrive at the cabin, they instantly lose their cell phone signals, but that really doesn’t matter because they aren’t there to talk on the phone. Actually, they immediately start drinking, smoking weed, swim in the nude, and have lots of sex. Once again, nothing you haven’t seen before in plenty of other slasher films. After a bit of time spent screwing and smoking, the killer arrives – and the killing begins.
There’s not a lot much more to add when talking about WTF! (though why an exclamation point instead of the usual question mark at the end of the title comes to mind). Director/Co-Writer (with Adam Buchalter and Christopher Centanni) Peter Herro isn’t trying to re-write the slasher movie handbook here. The character profiles neatly fit into the expected stereotypes, but the actors are a shade better than I expected them to be. The performances are uniformly strong, with Ott really stealing the show with her slightly unhinged performance. I felt a touch of pity for her at the beginning of the film, as Rachel is quite vulnerable at first. But Rachel gets stronger as the film progresses, and Ott shines as she seems to fully inhabit the character. No one else in the cast deserves any of our sympathies, and the script doesn’t ask the audience to have any. Everyone here (save for Rachel) are the sort of people you root against, I literally wanted all of them to die horrible deaths after 15 minutes.
Happily (for me anyway), the script was written with exactly that in mind, and once the killing begins, it begins in earnest. And the killer murders his victims with an eye to what’s important to them, so the vain beauty gets her face burned off, the horny jock (Rachel’s cheating boyfriend I might add) gets his pecker sliced off, and the video gamer gets murdered just like a character in the game he’s addicted to. The murders themselves are well executed and sufficiently gruesome enough to keep the gore hounds who are watching happily. But as they all take place in darkened rooms, you might have to squint to see them clearly. The twist involving the identity of the killer isn’t particularly surprising though, and that’s the film’s biggest letdown. There are a few clues sprinkled about, but if you’ve seen any of these films before, then you ought to figure it out way before the finale. Once the killer is identified, the film seems to be in a hurry to end, and it does just that in a hurried and brusque manner. The end credits are a nifty montage of artwork featuring the characters getting murdered in all sorts of ways that aren’t featured in the film (but they’re still fun to look at.)
What works for WTF! are the strong characterizations. Everyone here is playing a stereotype, but they really give it all they have. The fact that I hated nearly all of them so quickly is a testament to that. In addition, WTF! really looks good! I was expecting the usual low budget grainy DTV looking film, but what I got was a sleek and professional looking one. The cinematography here (by Justin Kemper) is really first-rate. But where the film falters is with the story, which has been done to death by now. As a matter of fact, there’s a cameo here from (the annoying) Perez Hilton, and for a few quick moments, I thought I was watching a different film in which he also appears in called Most Likely To Die (2015). I thought that because these two films literally have the exact same plot, except that for in the earlier film, it’s adults getting slaughtered, not college kids.
You won’t hate the time you spend with WTF!. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, and while it’s quite familiar, it’s slightly above par for what it ends up being. But there’s nothing particularly original about it either. In the end, I feel it’s worth a weekend rental regardless of its tired subject matter. The girls are pretty, the guys are dumb, and the kills are decent enough. I’ve seen much worse. And so have you.
BTW, besides being uttered a few times in the film, the title has no bearing on the goings on here. I have no idea what the film makers were trying to say by calling it WTF!
WTF! (2.5 / 5)