American Pie VS Cabin Fever
All My Friends Are Dead is the quintessential guilty pleasure of the year so far. With a lively energy, some ridiculous jokes and a bombastic, gore-filled climax, this Polish picture is very easy to watch and a very enjoyable comedy-horror mash-up.
The basic premise feels like someone watched American Pie and wondered what would happen if, at the final blowout party, everyone died in flamboyantly gruesome fashion. The build-up to this bloody third act does require some patience though, especially as the camera dances around various main characters we follow across the length of the movie.
Sandwiched between this party are two investigators, who arrive on New Years Day to find this suburban house full of dead bodies. What happened? Who could have done this? Is there a mass murderer on the loose? A single survivor, muttering “All my friends are dead,” is the only clue these detectives have to go on.
From a teen choking on his own vomit to another strung up by the ceiling with a noose, this ominous crime scene slowly unfolds over the course of 90 minutes as we see exactly what transpired that night.
From here, we’re back to the party as we follow a medley of different characters, some more archetypal than others. You’ve got the hotshot jock, the nerdy pizza delivery boy, a woman called Gloria (who’s very obviously styled after Stifler’s Mum) and an oblivious Ecstasy user who dances recklessly through all the carnage around her.
Tonally, All My friends Are Dead manages surprisingly well to blend its teen comedy with gory crime mystery, paying homage to old movies in the past while delivering something with its own unique style too. While there’s nothing inherently great or outstanding here, what’s here is undeniably easy to watch, partly thanks to some of the lively camera work.
Throughout the movie, the camera cleverly transitions between characters, as various different subplots start to overlap and characters bump into one another in hallways and different rooms. When they do, the camera then seamlessly follows said character instead. It’s a fun sequence of events, one that gives the film a little more dimension an otherwise static series of cuts would give.
While the first half of the movie limits these instances to chance encounters, as the movie progresses and secrets begin spilling out, the cuts are far more deliberate. All of this builds up to a brilliantly bloody crescendo.
While the movie never quite reaches the same high energy madness something like the church scene in Kingsman hit, there’s no doubt a lot going on here and the increasingly creative ways people are killed off only adds to the fun.
If you can go into this with relatively low expectations and take to the crude humour, All My Friends Are Dead is a surprisingly competent and funny romp and a great way to spend 90 minutes.