All My Friends Are Dead Movie Review - Pernicious Mayhem

All My Friends Are Dead is better than your average dead-teenager movie. 

Teenagers in a slasher are always equivalent to a fancy paper cup - they are disposable. The brutality inflicted on them takes the shape of entertainment, and the screams double up as anthemic numbers. Depending on the tone, the preceding statement could be altered. If the film is in the vein of Evil Dead (2013), then the violence sinks in as intended - with pain and horror. Writer-director Jan Belcl's All My Friends Are Dead leans more towards the comedy side, but that does not stop Belcl from providing human emotions to his teenagers. 

It's New Year's Eve, and a bunch of friends celebrate inside a house. There is the "perfect" couple Angelica (Katarzyna Chojnacka) and Daniel (Konrad Zygadlo), the photographer Filip (Mateusz Wieclawek), two former lovebirds Anastasia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz) and Jordan (Adam Turczyk). Dariusz (Wojciech Lozowski) is a hit among the ladies, while Robert (Szymon Roszak) and Rafal (Michal Sikorski) are women repellents. Jacques (Yassine Fadel) is French, "a Mormon, apparently." Spicing up the party are two "Astral sisters" who favor threesome, foursome, or any number-of-some. Then there is the duo of Pawel (Nikodem Rozbicki) and Gloria (Monika Krzywkowska); he is into her while she keeps her distance owing to the age difference (there is a gap of 17 years). Finally, the man hosting this party and whose house we are in - Marek (Kamil Piotrowski). 

Revealing further details would be futile. The reason lies in the opening scene of this film. It's the day after the party, and we see two detectives investigating Marek's residence. The floor is filled with dead bodies, the walls are painted with blood. Undoubtedly, the corpses are of the same people we saw (or will see) partying at Marek's. And so their plans (Daniel wants to propose to Angelica), their affairs (Anastasia swives Filip), their dreams (a pizza delivery boy aspires to be famous), their secrets (one of them is gay), and other things don't have a future. After a hard jollification, these teenyboppers will reach the climax of wild bloodgasm, not orgasm. Also, the name All My Friends Are Dead leaves no doubt as to where the narrative will lead. 

Still, Belcl allocates time for tempestuous moments. Pawel and Gloria have an eye-opening disputation that puts Moral, Intuition, Lucidity, and Frankness in MILF (she makes him see the problems arising from their age difference). Daniel obtains a lesson from Angelica about having something more than love in a relationship (spoiler alert: it's passionate sex). He picks up an axe, knocks down a door (a clear nod to The Shining), and then knocks Angelica. The pizza delivery guy gets to deliver more heartfelt moments. A piece of information connecting his ambition to his mother's illness saddens a little. This reveal happens at the most upsetting point of his life (his house catches on fire, his mother is trapped in it, and he is fired from his job). His death is the most painful to witness. On the surface, All My Friends Are Dead features stereotypical teenagers (hot blonde, douche-but-handsome boy, lascivious twins, inebriated youngsters) but gives them small depths and brains to distinguish from other similar cinematic features. An affair betides because of negligence. The negligence is there because the person is careless with the partner. He is careless because there are other fishes-in-the-sea. The one who initiates the affair does so because he/she considers it a sign and not out of cheap thrill. If a man is unable to seduce a girl, that's because he is into boys. Since he has not come out yet, he pretends to be "normal." What's evident is that all of them are behaving like ordinary whippersnappers, acting on juvenile impulse rather than sagacious experience.

That's why - unlike other dead-teen films - the youngsters here don't really deserve to be massacred, even when it's mostly unintentional. Nevertheless, Belcl makes sure the killings are enjoyable to watch. When the first one takes place, nobody figures out that someone is shot. They come close to that person and still remain oblivious of his condition. Everyone is too busy with themselves, and then there are ecstatic drugs. The slow, restrained body count is more engaging to watch than the mass extermination in the finale. Anastasia talks of a parallel universe, and we see one heaven-like contemporaneous event towards the end. The problem is in the final shot. Before cutting to black, we see blood from the "original" chain of events. How did it come here, if this is a parallel universe or something like that? Belcl seems to have fun with it, but it doesn't add up. It's a minor itch in a raunch-comedy that, despite incorporating booze and fornication, does not fall to the crassness of the American Pie sequels. Good job, Belcl. 

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