Review: Jennica Wants To Skip ALL GIRLS WEEKEND (2016)

Four childhood girlfriends plan a weekend reunion in the woods to catch up and embrace the great outdoors… because that certainly can’t be accomplished in the safety of a nail salon. One of the girls brings along an unexpected fifth wheel but that seems to be the least of the girls’ problems as their camping trip escalates from one brutal “mishap” to the next. There is a sinister presence that won’t let them leave the woods until only one woman is left standing. When lost, hungry, and inching closer to insanity, girl time can be murder.

Written and directed by Lou Simon as a follow-up to her 2013 film HazMat, All Girls Weekend stars indie horror star Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu, The Bunnyman Massacre), Katie Carpenter (Devious Maids, Maid to Order), and Gema Calero (HazMat), Karishma Lakhani, and Sharron Calvin. As a woman and lover of the horror genre, I was ready for a bloody fun film with an awesome all-girl cast but I was ultimately disappointed.AGW-043-610x322

Jamie Bernadette is once again a strong actress but is undermined by a combination of poor dialogue written for a female cast and awkward performances from some leading ladies. This makes All Girls Weekend a painful movie-viewing experience. The amount of silence filling the space between lines of dialogue appeared unnatural as if not a single one of the actresses had ever spent time among a group of women. We laugh a lot, we raise our voices, we talk over each other. We don’t typically obsess over our bodies and wonder why we’re single as we quietly sip pretty cocktails. Perhaps I live in a bubble, but I’d like to stay there.

AGW-211-610x322Beyond the unsatisfactory screenwriting and performances, All Girls Weekend lacked a uniqueness in that its main premise was redundant of every other film filed under the cabin-in-the-woods sub-genre of horror. An evil holding friends captive in the woods and driving them mad? It won’t let them leave? Sam Raimi already dazzled us with that plot in 1982 when he made The Evil Dead and dozens of titles from other writers and directors have attempted to recreate the same scenario since. The all-girl cast is perhaps the only factor giving this film an edge.

If you desperately need a weekend with the girls, All Girls Weekend will be available on VOD beginning July 12th. Gather your best girlfriends, pop some popcorn, and brace yourselves for an hour and a half of bad.