When it comes to your town, no one can run, no one can hide, EVERYONE MUST DIE! A pattern of similar killings occurs, leaving small towns aghast with grief and suspicion. When the massacre left Kyle’s sister in the coroner’s office, he vowed to solve the mystery behind the gruesome pattern of slaughter and find out where this seemingly death-proof killer will strike next. Join us as this tale of gore spreads from town to town, person to person, and blade to blade, leaving nobody safe, because, after all… EVERYONE MUST DIE!
It’s important to get one or two things absolutely clear before getting to any review of Everyone Must Die. To start with the film was produced for an estimated $3500. There are no 0’s missing from that figure, it’s not a misprint….that’s $3500. There are no celebrity endorsement or cameos here, no marketing gimmicks or associations. The cast are all relatively unknown outside of their own circles and while writer and director Steve Rudzinski has made several films previously the majority of the audience will never have heard of him. No, EMD is a film made with genuine honesty and sincerity and what we have is a real little gem.
The basic premise is a simple one. There are a series of murders being carried out by the same culprit or culprits moving West across America. In each town along the way people being butchered by masked assailants with apparently no clear motive or connection. The only thing that is clear is that Everyone Must Die! When Kyle survives one of the attacks but witnesses his sister becoming a victim he vows to solve the crimes. Through speaking to the head cop on the case and a local weatherman-turned-investigator he thinks he has discovered where the killers might strike next.
When a local celebrity MC Pink also falls victim on an ill judged camping trip a group of friends decide to have a party in his honour. Now, at this point I believe it would be wrong to reveal too much more about the plot because, well, there isn’t a great deal more. The remainder of the film focuses primarily on the characters and their relationships and this is the great strength of EMD. Without the budget for lavish set pieces and expensive special effects there is a greater reliance on the script and the cast to carry the story forward and this is something they do with great success. Yes the acting is a little hammy at times and some of the lines a little derivative and delivered slightly awkwardly but what gradually happens is that you begin to invest in the characters. Each one is given equal screen time so that the audience gets to know them and can grow to like or dislike them as their personalities are revealed. There is the occasional slip towards cliché such as the high school jock and his golf mad friend who carries a club around for the entire film and only seems to speak in golfing metaphors but generally there are well thought out and believable.
The script itself is also very strong with plenty of black humour throughout. In fact there some lines that may stay with you for a long time. When Kyle is asking the cop about the murders early in the film he receives a truly detailed response:
“In my professional opinion……..these kids got f*cked.”
When Guy the high school jock is talking to his friend about the girl he likes he describes respectfully his plans for the evening:
“I’m gonna turn her tight end into a wide receiver!”
There is more than a slice of cheese at times but in my opinion this is no bad thing as taking the audience from a smile and a laugh straight to a cringe and a scream is good film making.
The writers have obviously watched many horror films as they have strived to avoid creating another teen slasher yarn where the victims can be named in order of death by the audience at the start, and the twists arrive with the subtlety of a machete to the head. There are also some cleverly scripted homages to classic horror films along the way; one of the victims is killed in a way reminiscent of Psycho and I’m sure there is a line lifted directly from Aliens.
To conclude, if you have any interest in horror film then you should seek out Everyone Must Die! In fact, if you have any interest in film then you should seek out Everyone Must Die! It is a refreshing and enthusiastic production made my people who obviously love the genre. And now I’m off to watch it again!
Everyone Must Die! (2012)