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Kristy (2014)

Kristy (2014) – Cybercult stalkers crash Thanksgiving

4/5

The 2014 horror flick Kristy mines the familiar territory of masked stalkers terrorizing lone victims to generate a surprisingly intense film about a college girl trying to survive against a relentless group of violent cybercultists. In fact, Kristy is earnest enough to be on any list of the best horror movies set during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Directed by Olly Blackburn (Donkey Punch) and written by Anthony Jaswinski (The Shallows), Kristy stars Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train) who delivers an outstanding performance as the gritty final girl Justine. With the emotional weight of the entire movie on her shoulders, Bennett deftly handles the role and makes you care about the fate of her character. Kristy also features a strong supporting cast, including Ashley Greene (Twilight), Lucas Till (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Chris Coy (The Walking Dead).

Kristy debuted on cable TV in North America and was not released in North American theaters, but it did gross more than $600,000 in ticket sales overseas, mostly in South Korea and Italy, according to Box Office Mojo. The film boasts a respectable IMDb rating of 5.9 out of 10 stars. You can watch the movie free on the ad-supported streaming service Tubi.

kristy encounter 1
Justine (Haley Bennett) gets a chilly reaction from the hooded Violet (Ashley Greene), an encounter that jump-starts the action in 2014 film Kristy.

Who is Kristy?

The plot is refreshingly straightforward. Justine is a college student who doesn’t have the money to go home for Thanksgiving, leaving her on campus with a skeleton crew of three employees at the college. When Justine uses her roommate’s car to drive to a convenience store, she meets a creepy girl in a hoodie named Violet. Greene’s performance injects Violet with a creepy, dead-inside vibe that hints at the violence to come.

When Violet is denied a student discount on a pair of sunglasses by the store manager because she doesn’t have a student ID, Justine kindly offers to pay for Violet’s purchase to deescalate the situation. However, no good deed goes unpunished in this movie, and the hoodie girl gets offended by Justine’s offer. She calls Justine by the name “Kristy” before leaving in a huff.

Unfortunately for Justine, Violet is part of a nationwide cybercult that is encouraged to “kill Kristy,” a code phrase for targeting women who believe they are pure and blessed followers of God. The cybercult members then upload footage of their murders to an underground website. The irony is Justine is not pure or blessed, either spiritually or financially.

haley on phone
Justine (Haley Bennett) tries to call for help as she hides from a group of killer cybercultists. Bennett’s gritty performance elevates 2014’s Kristy into a riveting slasher/stalker film.

Cat and Mouse

After returning to her dorm room, Justine sees her laptop playing a snuff film. Violet then appears wielding a boxcutter, causing Justine to flee into the night. It sets up a deadly game of cat and mouse on the abandoned campus. Justine’s situation gets more dangerous when Violet is joined on the hunt by three masked cult members.

Violet and her group stay one step ahead of Justine for much of the chase until the hunted decides to become the hunter. The climactic showdown between Justine and Violet is a testament to Justine’s resourcefulness.

The film checks all the survival-slasher boxes for me. Violet and her masked henchmen fill the bill as cold-blooded villains. The final girl’s transformation from terrified victim to determined survivor is believable. The idea of a cybercult targeting women who think they are followers of God and then videoing their killings seems plausible in this day and age. Plus, the movie clocks in under 90 minutes, which I think is the perfect length for a horror film.

justine masked man
Justine faces a close call with one of her cybercultist stalkers. Bennett delivers an outstanding performance as the final girl of the 2014 film Kristy.

Grim Reality

While Kristy relies on the wrong place/wrong time trope to punch the plot into gear, Bennett’s performance is riveting and really grounds the film. The randomness of her encounter with Violet could happen to anyone at any time, illustrating a grim and scary reality in modern-day America.

Blackburn’s direction effectively ratchets up the tension throughout the movie – from the edgy pre-title sequence to how he uses the abandoned campus like a creepy playground at night. A brief scene after the ending credits suggests more cybercult activity.

I enjoyed Kristy. I wanted more background on the cult, but the members work under the radar, so it makes sense that we don’t know much about them. It didn’t matter because the combination of Bennett’s performance and Blackburn’s direction kept the adrenalin pumping. The film works as a straight-up survival-slasher, but I can also see it as a metaphor for how innocent bystanders can get caught in the crossfire of class or religious conflicts.

Kristy (2014) - Cybercult stalkers crash Thanksgiving - Malevolent Dark
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Director: Olly Blackburn

Date Created: 1970-01-01 00:33

Editor's Rating:
4

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