All of the Horror Movies on Netflix #1: #Horror
The most haunting thing about #Horror is not the brutal murder of tween girls, but that Director Tara Subkoff named a movie “Hashtag Horror” and does not know how to use hashtags.
For those of your not well versed in internet culture, let me explain: if you wanna get something trending or be witty or whatever, you use a hashtag like this: #food. Or this: #foodporn (good one, lots of hits). Even: #foodisgood. If someone wants to see more people talking about how #foodisgood, then they click #foodisgood, and they’re shown results from users all over the world hashtagging the same thing. Hashtags bring varied individuals with common goals together. Hashtags are the U.N. of the internet.
But the title of #Horror is the first and last time a hashtag is used correctly. Throughout #Horror, hashtags are displayed on the screen whenever characters post a picture on the internet, and every fucking time, it’s blasted across the screen #with one on either side#. Because of Tara Subkoff’s background as a very famous and rich #artist#, I think that she liked the sandwiched hashtag because of its symmetry, but tween girls do not care about symmetry. They care about #likes4likes!!!!
There are two basic plots going on in this movie: one is that there is a sleepover and ONE OF THEM IS A KILLER; the other is that Chloe Sevigny is very beautiful.
#Horror begins with Chloe Sevigny’s famous dick husband and his assistant fucking in a car. Oddly, his assistant is wearing an outfit that looks so much like a 1920s gangster costume that I half-expected to see a Spirit Store tag dangling from the armpit. Anyway, they’re murdered.
Sam—the heroine (eh)—is dropped off by her mom (played by Natasha Lyonne in the first of two Orange Is the New Black cameos) at a mean girl’s sleepover. She asks her mom to drop her off two houses away because—get this—she is poor as shit and, as such, super embarrassed of her mom’s poor person car. But as Sam gets out of the car, I notice her Hunter Original Women’s Original Tour Rain Boots in Hunter Green. Retail price: $150. Not so poor now, are we, Sam???
Chloe Sevigny and her (now dead) husband own a very cool art house, as you can tell from a piece of cinderblock in the living room tagged with graffiti. Chloe has a daughter who is terrible and named Sofia, and on Sam’s way in, she overhears Sofia talking shit with the other girls. This is a recurring thing: these girls do not like each other for reasons that are not explained, and they all talk about each other in vague ways. The exception to the rule is Georgie, who everyone is mean to because she is fat.
Meanwhile, a girl named Cat is late to the party. She sits with her dad at a two-person table in front of a gigantic window. (Rich people.) Cat has been bullying the girls, and boy is she in trouble. Her father asks her what a username is and then says she’ll pay for her actions, but in a kind, fatherly way. Apparently, on top of bullying, Cat has been going missing for long stretches of time AAAAND is on MEDICATION. I can tell you right now that Cat is the murderer, and that she definitely murdered Chloe Sevigny’s famous dick husband and his girlfriend in this most recent lapse of memory.
Anyway, the story jumps back to Chloe, who is wearing a cream-colored coat with paper planes attached to the shoulders and what appears to be a one-piece, cinched-waist swimsuit with tights underneath. She, of course, looks amazing.
In between scenes, there are bizarre shots of filler footage. A lot of close ups on the bark of trees and on the copper spray-painted wheels (“art”). Additionally, there is this portrait of who I think is Marilyn Monroe, but she has a giant, soft-boiled egg on her face. Sometimes, it pulsates.
The twelve-year-olds smoke cigarettes, which may have shocked me had I not gone to a public school where my classmates were well-established sexual beings by the age of twelve. Here’s what’s harder to believe: it’s, presumably, a Friday night, and all of the girls are wearing their school uniforms. Not to brag about my schooling again, but as a former Catholic schoolgirl, I can tell you that shit came off the minute you were in the door. Do you know what polyester pleats and elasticized waistbands feel like? Nothing good, man. Nothing good.
At some point, it is explained that this house is at the center of the Vortex for the four winds, and that kind of spiritual energy can drive a person mad. However, this is not the reason for #tweenmurder, and is more just a vaguely spooky backdrop used to make the viewer say, “Hmm?”
Although it was established earlier that Cat is the one bullying the other girls, Sofia does her best to push Cat over the edge. Sofia asks Cat to take a picture of her and her best friends (not Cat), which is something any loser will recognize as a way to alienate and shame them. Begrudgingly, Cat complies: A shot of Sam looking sympathetic but saying nothing while the other girls laugh. Cat posts the pic of the sleepover gals and writes “#FAT UGLY BITCHES#”
Perfume Genius’s “Queen” plays as Mother Chloe glides in and tells the girls she’ll pick up pizza. Sofia asks for Skinny Pop instead, saying they’re all on diets and can’t eat carbs. For reference, a serving size of Skinny Pop Popcorn has 15g of carbs, which is 15g more than a no-carb diet allows.
At some point, a disco ball turns on, and there are a lot of cash register noises as the girls look at Chloe’s dope jewelry collection. Although it starts off as lighthearted fun with the millions of dollars worth of jewels, the girls BRUTALLY MOCK Sam when she puts on a tiara because she is not a princess and, as previously established, very poor.
In a swift tonal change, Cat picks up a jewel-encrusted pistol and threatens the girls with it. But instead of murdering them, she takes selfies with the gun, and the others follow suit. I think this is foreshadowing. The screen freezes each time they take a picture, and I gotta tell you, there is a lot of flash and they’re not using their angles well at all.
Have I mentioned, yet, that there is a weird amount of Blingee-esque art that flutters over the scenes from time to time? There will be a really lovely shot and then, suddenly, dog and poop emojis that wink and change color. Additionally, the social media used in this movie—how the girls all torment each other—is scored. It’s a game. A counter for “lives” also appears in the right hand corner of the screen. This has no significance.
Chloe runs off to AA with Taryn Manning (2/2 OITNB), leaving the youths in a gigantic house with full access to her jewelry and—Jesus Christ—the aforementioned jewel-encrusted gun.
The girls all start in on Georgie again, and as they laugh at her weight, Cat says, “That’s what fat people do. They make us laugh.” Obviously I am #Team# #Georgie# and will be really sad when she gets slaughtered.
Sidenote: It makes me really uncomfortable to think about this scene being filmed and this little girl being mocked for her weight, especially because I am 100% certain the director is a thin woman. None of the girls are insulted for anything other than lying, but Georgie is raked over the coals for being chubby. Even the nice girl, Sam tells Georgie she should join soccer with her to get in shape. Fight me, Sam. I will clobber you with your Hunter Green Hunters.
After the girls spend five solid minutes mocking Georgie, Sofia apparently reaches her bullying threshold and kicks Cat out when she “goes too far.” Some haunting music plays as Cat begs to stay with them, and she says they were all mean to her when her mom died last year. (Has this been mentioned before?) Cat runs into the forest and cries as shots of their texts chase her. A camera circles Cat as she screams “I hate you!!!” and then leaves a message on her dad’s cell to pick her up.
Back at the house, Georgie cries when Cat (still in the woods) uploads a picture of her captioned #Fat Tranny Bitch#. Georgie talks about how eating makes her feel better and they tell her she should just stop eating. As the girls all get on their phones and stew over Cat’s behavior, Sam says that “being 12 is hard enough” and recommends they should just turn over their phones and chill.
How did you hang out as an eighth grader? They drink STRAIGHT alcohol out of a goddamn decanter. They dance. They play with a bird. They watch an experimental art movie inside a tent, where they also talk about the first time they got their periods. Sofia (?) (I don’t know, most of them look the same) says of her parents, “When they’re home, they’re on their phones. They’re like… Real life zombies.” The girls swim in matching swimsuits, because they are RICH. There’s a close up of an orange candle, and suddenly and very unexpectedly, Sam has visions of blood pouring into the pool as she watches her friends swim. Four winds!!!! It’s the mother fucking vortex!!
Their bonding montage is interrupted as Cat’s dad barges in, drool at the corners of his mouth. He got Cat’s message and doesn’t believe that they don’t know where she is. Instead of, say, looking for her, he grabs the girls by the neck and yells at them. Georgie says they didn’t bully her and that she bullied them. “She told me to kill myself!” she says, to which he replies, "Good advice."
Because they wanted to make sure you knew he was a bad guy, Dr. Cat’s Dad grabs a girl’s face and smells her breath as he yells at her for drinking. He pulls out a knife to threaten them as they cry. He calls the tweens “damaged goods” and keeps holding their heads as he threatens to press charges because of reasons.
Some stuff happens after this, but I stopped taking notes for a while as I tried to figure out which girl is which. I got Georgie, Sofia, Cat, and Sam down, but there are more of them, and I honestly don’t know how many more.
When I come to, Chloe Sevigny (looking great in a fur coat) and Dr. Cat’s Dad are fighting. He grabs her face, too, and threatens to kill her. Chloe tells Dr. Cat’s Dad that he’s crazy and that must be where his daughter gets it from. Outraged/inspired, Dr. Cat’s Dad stumbles into the forest and yells for Cat. “I have soup and a sandwich for ya!!!!!” he pleads. Cat does not emerge. Inside the house, the egg on Marilyn Monroe’s face pulsates.
Meanwhile, Sam also looks for Cat, as she’s worried that her not-friend is hurt. She comes across the car with Sofia’s dead dad inside, and rushes back inside to tell the others. They do not believe her, because none of them are friends. Sam has another vision (I think?) of Georgie and a girl I’ve literally never seen before dead and in the basement. The rest of the movie happens in about ten minutes: those girls do die, Cat’s dad comes back, Sofia shoots Cat’s dad because he is the literal worst, and a bunch of 12-year-olds are murdered.
As part of Cat’s torment of the girls, their murder is shared on social media. News reports of the slaughter are shared on major media outlets, and the movie ends with Cat talking to a webcam, revealing this had been her plan all along (okay). She looks smug as Blingees flash around her and she makes a solemn vow. “I’ll have the best avatar, the most likes, I’ll have the top score, and I’ll be the top player,” she says. “And… I’ll be remembered forever.”
Rating: One and a Half out of Five #Spooky Pumpkins#
It was a movie without boys and Chloe Sevigny did look very nice, but also I really wish that there wasn’t a horror movie about tweens on social media by someone who has no interest in social media.