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Audiences are 'Most Likely to Die' from apathy

Audiences are 'Most Likely to Die' from apathy
A grudge-holding maniac in a graduation gown terrorizes a 10-year high school reunion in the movie "Most Likely to Die." (MarVista Digital Entertainment)

Only hardcore slasher flick fans will want to waste 80 minutes of their lives on "Most Likely to Die," a feather-light thriller that adds nothing new to the "gather a group of friends and kill them off one by one" genre. Though slickly produced and competently acted, the movie mostly just follows a formula.

Laura Brennan reportedly wrote the script in the 1990s, during the retro-horror heyday of "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer." "Most Likely to Die" has a smidgen of those films' self-awareness, in that its characters are familiar with other, similar movies. But director Anthony DiBlasi plays the material fairly straight, undercutting any playfulness.

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The film's title sets up its big gimmick. The night before their 10-year reunion, a handful of high school chums attend a house party, where a grudge-holding maniac in a graduation gown murders them in ways tied to their yearbook's "most likely to" superlatives.

The cast (which includes Jake Busey, Perez Hilton and Heather Morris) is energetic and capable, but can't do much with dialogue that mostly requires them to sit around rehashing past mistakes.

The biggest problem with "Most Likely to Die," though — beyond it being unimaginative, unfunny and frightless — is that it has no sense of place or time. This is a throwback genre piece that expresses no specific nostalgia. Lazy film students could copy and paste it into any decade.

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'Most Likely to Die'

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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