Tribeca 2024 Review: #AMFAD ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD Is A Silly Gen Z Slasher

Editor, U.S. ; Dallas, Texas (@HatefulJosh)
Tribeca 2024 Review: #AMFAD ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD Is A Silly Gen Z Slasher

A sexy septet of incorrigible coeds seeks to surreptitiously sidestep a serial slayer seeking satisfaction for their secret sins in Marcus Dunstan’s Gen Z slasher #AMFAD: All My Friends are Dead.

When a group of college kids get sidetracked by a blowout on their way to a Coachella-style music festival in the middle of nowhere, they manage to snag the last available Airbnb in the area while waiting for a fix. The place is sweet; plenty of space, miraculously available at the last minute, and somehow primed for seven guests ready to sin the weekend away. However, on this twentieth anniversary of the Seven Deadly Sins Killer’s rampage, it doesn’t look so good for these guys and gals who all seem to have a past that they’ve run away from, but that isn’t quite done with them.

The actual characters in #AMFAD: All My Friends are Dead are less people than postmodern archetypes. There’s the influencer, the druggie, the poon hound, the wannabe, the couch potato, the virgin, and then there’s the new girl, Sarah (Jade Pettyjohn). Each of them embodies one of the seven deadly sins except for Sarah, but maybe that’s just because we don’t know her well enough yet. And when the bodies start to drop, seemingly in accordance with their worst personal failures, Sarah is among those running for their lives.

As hard as #AMFAD tries to position itself as a slasher for the Gen Z set, it can’t quite get over its own generic set up. A bunch of young adults stranded in a rural cabin getting picked off one by one by a killer with a grudge, it’s a tried-and-true formula, but there’s just something off about the execution.

Director Marcus Dunstan is probably best known for his outstanding work on The Collector and The Collection, the latter of which has a distinctly Saw-like feel – which makes sense as he had a hand in writing several of the films including both the worst (Saw 3D), and one of the best (Saw VI) in the series. This experience definitely shines through in the individual kills and somewhat ridiculous set pieces in #AMFAD, which are by far the highlights of the film. So, if all you’re looking for are graphic kills, you’ve got a number of them to choose from.

Unfortunately, as I’ve aged beyond my twenties, I have been cursed with the dumb desire for the most miniscule amount of logical connective tissue between the kills and that’s where #AMFAD leaves too much to the imagination.

The story unfolds in the most ludicrous manner possible, bouncing back and forth between social media drama, doomed LGBT romance, cyberbullying, the commoditization of youth and misery, all with a pithy and somehow simultaneously prudish air that just doesn’t sit right. There are gruesome kills galore, every manner of bodily dismemberment is employed is spectacular fashion, virtually assuring any eventual attempted theatrical release will be stamped with an R-rating, but barely anything beyond a bare midriff in the other direction. It’s a bizarre line to draw in a film in which multiple characters are depicted as sexually obsessed, but cinematically neutered.

Nobody loves a brainless hack’n’slasher like your intrepid reviewer, but even I draw a line from time to time. #AMFAD is silly, at times aggressively so, but it takes occasional steps toward social consciousness that feel out of place. Not to mention the fact that it features former kiddie pop star Jojo Siwa – sure to be a draw for a certain demographic – in an unusually empathetic extended cameo. I genuinely wish I could turn my brain off completely and let the buckets of guts are gore waft over me like a cool spring breeze, but sadly, it cannot commit to being either as dumb as it needs to be or as serious as it wants to be, and the no man’s land in between is a dead zone.

AMFAD All My Friends Are Dead

  • Marcus Dunstan
  • John Baldecchi
  • Jessica Sarah Flaum
  • Josh Sims
  • Jade Pettyjohn
  • JoJo Siwa
  • Jennifer Ens
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Marcus DunstanJohn BaldecchiJessica Sarah FlaumJosh SimsJade PettyjohnJoJo SiwaJennifer EnsHorror

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