It focuses on a group of high school friends getting together for a party on the day before their 10-year high school reunion, only for the old friends to get knocked off one by one by The Graduate, a mysterious killer who wears a mask and a graduation gown, and kills his old classmates based on the things they were "most likely" to do, as seen in their high school yearbook.
Clearly, The Graduate is someone they know, but is it the bullied kid (the titular "Most Likely to Die" in the yearbook) they got expelled via a cruel prank, is it the mysteriously absent hockey bad boy and party host who just got cut by his NHL team, is it the creepy housekeeper, or is it someone else?
Tropes "most likely" to be included in this movie:
- Advertised Extra: Jake Busey's character plays almost no role in the plot and is killed in his second scene.
- The Alcoholic: Freddie. After his boyfriend dies in a car crash caused by his drinking, Freddie kicks the booze habit he had been known for since his high school days. He starts drinking again, however, when more than half of the gang has been murdered and The Graduate's identity has been revealed.
- Asshole Victim: Averted. Based on their past actions, Ray comes about as a Jerk Jock and the biggest a-hole in the group of friends, having led the bullying against John Doe since the first grade, being known for his bad temper, and having coerced DJ into planting the gun in John's locker so that his hockey scholarship isn't jeopardized. As an adult, he seems to be a surly sort, though a lot of this is due to the fact he was cut by the New York Rangers. Yet he's one of the few survivors of DJ/The Graduate's killing spree, as DJ had deliberately kept Ray alive and tied up in the trunk of his car, hoping to frame him for the murders. However, his actions cause his girlfriends and most of his friends death.
- Black Dude Dies First: Playing With. Although The Graduate kills creepy housekeeper Tarkin early on in the film, Lamont is technically the first male member of the old gang of friends who gets killed, right after DJ reveals himself as The Graduate.
- Camp Gay: Freddie. And why not, as he's played by gossip columnist Perez Hilton.
- Caught in a Snare: When Ashley is fleeing the house, she steps in a snare that closes on her foot and the killer drags her into the generator shed.
- The End... Or Is It?: After Gaby and Ray shoot and kill DJ, an unseen person appears and dons the mask, cap, and gown. This person is heavily implied to be John Dougherty, the boy who supposedly committed suicide, prompting DJ to go on a killing spree.
- Fanservice: Brad's "girlfriend" Bella, who gets perved on by Tarkin while she changes into her swimsuit. Also the first victim Ashley, who was preparing a striptease for Ray at the time she was lured to her death.
- Ray's shirtless scene right at the end
- Foreshadowing: The Graduate's M.O. killing his high school classmates based on their yearbook captions, e.g. first victim Ashley, aka "Most Likely to Have Her Name in Lights," who's found dead with her name in Christmas lights. As The Graduate turns out to be class clown/prankster DJ, his caption of "Most Likely to Have The Last Laugh" is eerily prophetic, though he obviously doesn't get to kill all of his targets.
- Freudian Excuse: Although it does not excuse the fact that he murdered most of his closest high school friends, DJ explains that his actions are revenge for the fact that the bullied kid John Dougherty had a rough life as an adult, and ultimately killed himself after DJ came clean about the series of pranks that got him expelled from high school. He also notes that he never wanted to be involved in the final prank, as he hid the gun in John's locker on Ray's request, so that Ray wouldn't get into even more trouble and lose his hockey scholarship.
- Improbable Weapon User: While The Graduate also uses a common hand razor, his graduate cap is actually lined with razor blades, which he uses several times to kill, once even by throwing it like Oddjob.
- Large Ham: Perez Hilton's character Freddie, with his histrionic screams and panicked behavior.
- Last-Name Basis: Most of the friends, ex-girlfriend Gaby included, call Brad by his last name, Campbell.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Jade, as further evidenced by her being "Most Likely to Break Hearts." It's implied that she turned down several boys in high school due to her sexual orientation, and as an adult, she stayed home to be in a relationship with the gang's old English teacher, a woman named Elaine.
- Monster Misogyny: All the women of the friend group, excluding Gabby, die. Meanwhile only one male member of the friend group gets killed.
- Offscreen Teleportation: In classic slasher-style fare, The Graduate should not be able to get around as fast as he does or change out of his costume that quickly, which is seemingly done only to preserve his identity up to the last twist.
- Off with Her Head!: The Graduate murders Bella by slashing her throat, then ripping her head off with his hands.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: John Dougherty, who was always referred to as "John Doe." As the gang recalls, nobody ever called him by his real name.
- Poetic Serial Killer: The killer targets the former members of a high school yearbook committee on the night before their 10 year high school reunion. The killer blames their actions for what happened to an unpopular student, and kills each in a manner befitting each's senior yearbook superlative.
- Really Gets Around: Mentioned that Ashley was unfaithful to Ray and seeing other men on the side, though Ray didn't seem to mind.
- Reunion Revenge: A group of former classmates gather for a pre-party at one of their homes the night before their 10-year high school reunion, and one by one, they are brutally slain in a manner befitting each's senior yearbook superlative.
- Slashed Throat: The Graduate's preferred method of execution using razor blades. As with most movies, his victims die almost instantly rather than spend several agonizing hours choking on their own blood.
- Vehicular Sabotage: The killer cuts the fuel lines in all of the attendees' cars so no one can leave the canyon.
- Weaponized Headgear: The killer murders Simone with a razor edged mortarboard: piercing her skull with the corner, and slashing her throat with the edge.