Essays · Movies

31 Days of Horror: Girly

By  · Published on October 11th, 2010

When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline.

Synopsis: A precocious young girl and her brother live a life of wealth and good taste that’s augmented by bringing home new friends in order to play games with them. Those who refuse or try to run away get their heads chopped off.

Killer Scene: The entire film is an exercise in psychosis, and there are many moments where the cutesy-talking Mumsy and Nanny and Sonny and Girly display a wanton disregard for life and death. It’s all a bit like Misery meets Funny Games meets Mrs. Doubtfire. The turning point really comes when New Friend catches Girly in the shed at the edge of the property during a game of Cowboys and Indians. There’s no bloodshed (except for it being her first time), but he puts his mustache to good use and secures an ally by going beneath enemy hemlines in order to set in motion the games of jealousy and betrayal that he thinks can lead to his freedom.

Kill Sheet

Violence:There are a few moments of violence, like when a bum gets his head chopped off, but it’s all done off camera or done suggestively (although a guy running for his life does get a few arrows to the torso) as part of the cleanliness and nobility the family is framed in. It sounds corny, but it makes the killings all the more uneasy to handle when they are dealt out with a giggle and a sparkly-eyed smile.

Sex: Girly (played by Vanessa Howard) looks a lot like if Alicia Silverstone and A.J. Langer were the same person and were born in time to be a teenager in the 1970s. There’s so much sexuality promised in this film, and it’s never delivered on, but that’s part of the point. Girly wears jumpers that barely cover her white bits, flashes her underwear a lot, and hops into bed with the New Friend without showing much skin. Plus, the New Friend (Michael Bryant) gets his serial killer fetish on by bedding down with every woman on screen. Young and old. It might as well be called New Friend Fucks His Way to Freedom.

Scares: There’s really no point in the film that’s scary except when you start to think about the possibility of a family like this existing in the real world. Once they have you on their estate, that’s the game.

Final Thoughts: The trick of the movie is an interesting one. It’s not so much a slasher film as it is a portrait of a serial killer family completely unhampered by the external fear of getting caught by the police. They’re basically untouchable, and it’s also tough to feel sympathy for the new friends they bring home because they are ostensibly only following the swishing skirt of Girly and the promise of some underage playtime. Plus, they’re usually pretty weird (which I chalk up to it being Britain in the 1970s).

The greatest part of Girly is that it never goes in an obvious direction, and when their New Friend (who they’ve tricked into believing he’s killed his girlfriend) figures out the game and plots a way to escape by pitting the family against each other, it all plays out in a fascinatingly bloody way.

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