The Horror Honeys: Same Old Story, Same Old Torture & Castration

Same Old Story, Same Old Torture & Castration

A Revenge Honey Review/Rant by Linnie

Among Friends (2012)

I'm afraid I have to open this particular review with a bit of a rant. First off, when you are a female horror critic, you become acutely aware of certain issues specific to women in horror. One of those main issues is that some major players in the industry seem to get by on looks, nostalgia, and pictures of their boobs covered in blood. While I am not one to deny a lady her right to show off the goods, problems arise when critics start giving these blood-soaked tits passes even when their work sucks. It's even more eye-rollingly annoying when those passes are given via positive reviews for movies that blow donkey balls.

The gig is up dudes. But that 5-star review will NOT get you laid. Sorrynotsorry.
Additionally, the Horror Honeys have also had to confront the assumption that just because we are women working in the horror industry, we automatically have to give two perfectly-manicured thumbs up to anything with a vag.

Not gonna happen. Feminism isn't about special considerations: it's about the same damn considerations for everyone, whether they be a glowing and feels-filled review or one that involves snarky gifs and a whole lot of name calling. So with all of this ranting in mind, we may now commence with this week's review of Danielle Harris's Among Friends.

Even the poster is boring.
The Plot: A group of "best" "friends" show up for an 80s prom-themed murder mystery dinner party (who HASN'T been to ten of those this year, amiright?) hosted by a mutual friend/acquaintance, Bernadette. Except, all of these friends suck and are huge assholes to each other and Bernadette seeks to make them pay via a game of "fuck each other up or die," which is nothing like anything else that came out the same year (cough cough Would You Rather cough cough). Secrets come out, fingers get chopped off, blah blah blah. You know this story. Trust me.

Unlike everyone else who seems to have reviewed this movie, I am not a Danielle Harris fangirl. I don't consider her a "scream queen" just because she was in Halloween movies, and I haven't been carrying around an adolescent crush on her since childhood. But I also don't hate her. She was cute as Jamie Lloyd and she appeared in one of my favorite episodes of Eerie, Indiana, so good on her for that. But just because she's a passable horror actress doesn't magically mean she can become the next great horror director. And based on what I saw in Among Friends, that definitely won't be happening anytime soon.

Script note: Everyone has their hands on their hips & tilts their head.
There is so much wrong with Among Friends that I scarcely know where to start. The script, written by Alyssa Lobit (who also stars as Bernadette) is completely weighed down by every shrill, obnoxious, bullshit clich√© you can imagine: abortion, rape, adultery, every shitty secret in the book. But the problem with piling on secrets and behavior of this cringeworthy magnitude, you're left wondering... why the fuck are these people even friends? They don't even seem to like each other! This monumental weakness in the story makes everything that comes throughout the film seem like a ridiculous trope thrown in just to move the story along.

As a director, Danielle Harris seems to have taken a cue from her Halloween-remake leader, Rob Zombie: So much of Among Friends seems to be about style and not substance. Specifically, there is a totally pointless scene of actress Brianne Davis tripping on mushrooms that is nothing but flashing lights and screaming actors (including Harris herself) and it's absolutely annoying. Eventually I stopped paying attention because of the sheer length of this totally unnecessary moment. Just because Harris and Lobit thought this scene was hilarious doesn't mean it needed to be included in the film, and this is the danger of trusting a first-time director based on a fabricated reputation. They think everything is genius.

You look like Glinda and that is why I enjoyed you.
And unfortunately, the acting doesn't really elevate Among Friends in any meaningful way. Lobit is self-righteous and shrieky, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn (who I normally love) just screams and cries the whole time, and there are two other interchangeable and totally useless blonde guys who I couldn't tell you a thing about now. AJ Bowen, a man who is deeply loved at Honey HQ, barely speaks two words the whole movie and when he does, he's completely unlikeable. The only actor in the film I actually liked was Brianne Davis and that's because she reminded me of Kristin Chenoweth, so I liked her by proxy. 

So to summarize: bad script, mediocre directing, and sub-par acting. I don't care if Danielle Harris gives you some sort of nostalgic nerd boner... Among Friends is not a good film.

Revenge Honey Rating - 1 Fuck You for Wasting My Time out of 5

Among Friends is available on iTunes, Netflix Disc, Amazon Instant Video, and DVD/Dlu-ray