GIRLS AGAINST BOYS (Anchor Bay, 2012) D: Austin Chick, w/ Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte. Rating: NN; Extras: NN Rating: NN
Ms. 45 meets Single White Female in Girls Against Boys, and neither has much to say.
Manhattan university student/bartender Shae (Danielle Panabaker) gets raped by a casual acquaintance. The cops are no help, so co-worker Lulu (Nicole LaLiberte), who we already know is a happy homicidal lunatic, takes her off on a revenge killing spree targeting more than merely the rapist.
Revenge-for-rape movies aren't all that common, and the best of them - the original I Spit On Your Grave and Ms. 45 - can be highly unsettling experiences that go well beyond almost everybody's moral and aesthetic comfort zones. Exploitation trash at its finest.
Not here. The rape is deliberately out of focus and largely off screen. Shae emerges from it obviously traumatized, but without a mark on her. The revenge killings are a little more graphic, but without any sense of peril on any level.
Panabaker does a good job of looking shaken, but Shae does too little to hold our interest. LaLiberte's Lulu is way more fun. She gets to be funny, sexy, creepy and in charge all at once.
Director Austin Chick and Panabaker share mundane production stories on their commentary. Neither has a word to say about creative decisions or content until the very end, when they briefly discuss the possibility that everything is taking place in Shae's mind, a sequence that feels tacked on.
EXTRAS Chick/Panabaker commentary, English audio. English, Spanish subtitles.