13 Horror Films: 1. Kristy (2014)

Since there seems to be no 13 Days of Samhain like last year, I’ve decided to write about a particular horror film every day until Halloween. I’ve also decided to choose films that are not so well known or have been overlooked. Some will be contemporary, and some will be older. These posts will contain spoilers, so you are warned.

Tonight: Kristy. A film that bombed on it’s release and received mixed reviews, but I enjoy watching it.

“Why are you doing this?”

“Pretty hair. Pretty car!”

College student Justine (played by Haley Bennett) finds herself hunted down one night by four cultists. They belong to The Fold: a group made up of cells across the United States that hunt down young women who they deem to be privileged. At least more privileged than they are. They all label their victims as Kristy, as Kristy means follower of Christ and therefore killing Kristy means they’re killing God. Blah blah. As they hunt down their victims, and eventually kill them, they record it all and then upload their results to the group’s website.

When the film begins it is Thanksgiving. Everyone is leaving campus to go to their families, everyone except Justine who can’t afford to go home. She’s a scholarship student who also has to work as a kitchen hand. Justine’s boyfriend Aaron (Lucas Till) offers for her to go to his home for Thanksgiving, but she refuses. You get the impression that his family is well off and Justine’s isn’t. The wealth gap bothers her and makes her feel his family doesn’t understand her.

The only other stay behind at the beginning is Justine’s friend Nicole, but when Nicole suddenly leaves to be with family, Justine is on her own during Thanksgiving break. You see Justine try to make the best of a bad situation by dancing down corridors, going for a run, and using the swimming pool. All the physical activity she engages in helps explain her physical stamina later on in the film, but it also highlights that she is alone and isolated in a very large campus.

In the evening she drives Nicole’s BMW to a nearby service station to pick up supplies. While there she encounters Violet (Ashley Greene), the female member of the local The Fold cell. After Justine has an altercation with her, Violet marks her as their new victim. On the way back, their car blocks hers, but she manages to get past them and back to campus just as a storm begins to hit. Justine tells the security man Wayne (Matthew St Patrick) that she encountered trouble and he tells her not to worry. She then sits in a dorm lounge talking to Aaron on her phone. She falls asleep there, and when she wakes everything is different. All the lights are out and the front door of her dorm is barricaded. She watches in horror as the cultists violently attack Wayne in front of her. Justine is then told she is Kristy, and the hunt begins…

Justine is then stalked throughout the campus by this group comprised of Violet and three faceless males who wear tinfoil masks and are armed with knives and baseball bats. After her boyfriend (who came back because he was worried about her) is killed before her eyes, she gets tired of running and begins fighting back using her knowledge of the campus as an advantage.

Does Justine kill all of this group before they kill her? Watch the movie if your interested in seeing how it unfolds.

As a side note: There were a couple of scenes in this movie that reminded me of the game Life Is Strange. At one point Justine is hiding amongst the shelves in the library and the cultists are using flashlights to try and find her. This is reminiscent of the end stage of the game where you are trying to avoid being spotted by flashlights. There’s also a scene in the swimming pool which reminded me of when Max and Chloe break into the school swimming pool one night and end up trying to hide from the security guard. Kristy came out a year before Life Is Strange, and I wonder if the game designers where influenced by this film in some small way. Of course it could just be coincidence, but there are times with this film I feel a similar vibe to the game. Maybe it’s just me…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

6 thoughts on “13 Horror Films: 1. Kristy (2014)

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