Slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s typically revolve around deranged mask donning knife-wielding monstrosities that often defy death. However, a new type of slasher emerged in the 90’s with films such as Urban Legend, Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. With motive driven mortal killers who hide in plain sight while strategically evading discovery, slashers were brought closer to the realm of reality while adding a fun “who did it” element. Colin Bressler utilizes the mystery approach of 90’s slashers in his directorial debut Bloody Drama.
As a group of sorority sisters prepare to enter the next chapter of their lives, they attempt one last pool party get-together before parting ways. However, as deeply rooted resentment among the sisters begins to surface and fester, drama threatens to end their fun in the sun.
It isn’t long before drama rears its ugly head as bickering breaks out between Rene (Cristina Cruz Rodriguez) and Kem (Jaelynn Blount) while Brittany (Katusha Robert) struggles to maintain the peace. In an attempt to stir up some trouble of her own, Kelly (Billionna Olivia Reyes) sends a message to her ex-boyfriend to shake things up in his new relationship. While the girls carry on with their problems submerging themselves in drugs and alcohol, drama turns deadly as a mystery killer hiding behind a twisted emoji mask begins to pick the sisters off one by one.
With exceptional cast performances by Rodriguez and Blount, their characters’ disdain for one another is brought to life. As the two sisters exchange verbal jabs that escalate from small general insults into a much more personal territory, the drama intensifies appropriately with the plot. Though the character and plot development mirrors each other thereby adding a level of substance, the final revelation in this 90’s slasher throwback, though remaining unpredictable, falls a little flat. A shift in focus from the sorority sister’s drama to some of the additional character’s backstory may have helped bring out the ending creating more of a solid twist.
Although the story lacks focus in the beginning, it gradually takes shape as the sorority sister’s problems intensify. As the killer’s identity begins to seem obvious, a curveball is thrown into the mix making sense of a seemingly random event. This crucial story development is done well adding a much-needed layer that fans of mystery slashers can appreciate. Despite some of its flaws, Bloody Drama avoids the pitfall of predictability in a way that will keep you guessing until the end.