All Girls Weekend Poster

Review: ALL GIRLS WEEKEND (2016)

No stranger to low budget horror, writer/director/producer Lou Simon (3: AN EYE FOR AN EYE) has long since proved she can hold her own in a field dominated by the guys. With entertaining if not exactly groundbreaking films like HAZMAT and AGORAPHOBIA to her credit, she delivered, ALL GIRLS WEEKEND. It’s a tale of old friends getting back together for a trip gone very, very wrong.

A group of friends reunites after growing apart in the years since high school. Extra friction is provided as one of them has brought a friend. After a night of drinking and catty comments, they head out to the resort. From there it gets even worse. A hiking accident strands them in the woods, woods bearing a curse of course. All the trails seem to lead back in a circle. And with group members dying one by one, the survivors need to find a way out before it’s too late.

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While not the most original plot it’s certainly one perfect for a budget-conscious film and with plenty of potential for scares. Despite the obvious supernatural elements and cues, (trails that all lead in circles, strange voices in the woods, etc.) ALL GIRLS WEEKEND also tries to play on the idea that one of them is killing the others off.

That’s something the poster certainly wants you to think. In a particularly meta moment, you can see an early version of the film’s poster on one of the women’s apartment’s wall. It does all come together in a satisfying ending. Along the way, the uncertainty helps ratchet up the suspense.

On the minus side, ALL GIRLS WEEKEND low budget means despite some interesting and potentially gruesome deaths, the film is pretty dry due to a lack of an effects budget. A bear attack sequence is pretty much ruined due to some of the most mismatched stock footage I’ve seen in a long time, as well as the lack of effects.

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The film is still effective without the gore, but certainly would have benefited from it. It also takes a bit too long to get started. And with all the sniping and bitching at each other before they leave, I found it a bit hard to believe they didn’t just cancel the trip. They acted more like they hated each other than like old friends.

The acting is good and from some familiar faces, toplined by Jamie Bernadette (THE 6TH FRIEND, DEAD BY DAWN), Katie Carpenter (THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, BLOODY BALLET) and Gema Calero (DONORS, HAZMAT).

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