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Film / Tragedy Girls

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McKayla Hooper: Look, we're about to graduate and go to college, and we haven't even started our first killing spree. Is that what you want?
Sadie Cunningham: Of course not.

A 2017 horror-comedy film, directed by Tyler MacIntyre, starring Brianna Hildebrand and Alexandra Shipp.

Best friends Sadie (Hildebrand) and McKayla (Shipp) do everything together, including running their true crime website, "Tragedy Girls." In order to gain the recognition they so desperately crave, they decide to do what anyone would do: murder people themselves, and then report on it. Meanwhile, they've managed to capture a local Serial Killer, Lowell Orson Lehmann, and are currently keeping him locked up in a warehouse, in the hopes of using him as a scapegoat. As the Tragedy Girls become an overnight sensation, Sadie and McKayla fight to keep one step ahead of the local law enforcement, and keep their friendship intact.

The film was given a limited release in October 2017, before becoming available for streaming in February 2018. Blending elements of the classic slasher genre and social satire, it's been compared to both Scream and Heathers for its dark comedic elements. Jack Quaid stars as the girls' classmate, Jordan, and Kevin Durand stars as Lowell. Josh Hutcherson and Craig Robinson also appear in minor roles, with Robinson also working as a producer.


This film contains the following tropes...

  • Accidental Murder: Zigzagged with Syl's death. Sadie and McKayla were going to murder her, but before they can, she gets hung up by a chain by her ankle and swung face first into a table saw. The girls are in shock, with McKayla claiming it looked like "Some Final Destination shit".
  • Action Girl: Both of the girls show some very impressive combat skills. Since they're evil, it also counts as Dark Action Girl.
  • Advertised Extra: Josh Hutcherson was in all the trailers, despite only being in the film for about ten minutes, probably because he's the biggest name in the cast. The trailers didn't even try to hide the fact that he dies, though.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Sadie often calls McKayla "M-Kay."
  • Alpha Bitch: The archetype is played with quite a bit.
    • Syl at first seems like a classic example, being popular, a cheerleader, hotheaded, and having an underling that she's rude to... except most of her bitchy moments come when she's already stressed out, and other than that, she comes off as a normal, generally nice girl who does charity work in her spare time.
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    • Sadie and McKayla come much closer, as they're both utterly horrible people who appear to be pretty popular at school, especially when Tragedy Girls takes off... except in the public eye, they're all sweetness and light.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: Sadie's mother clearly isn't around, but it's unclear whether she died or if her parents divorced and she just doesn't have close contact with her.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Sadie and McKayla. Both girls show interest in men at different points, but it quickly becomes clear that they love each other above all else, and it's hard not to wonder if that love isn't 100% platonic. Their friendship is closer than a lot of people's marriages.
  • And the Adventure Continues: A very dark version, as the movie ends with the girls driving away from their hometown after having finished their killing spree, presumably to start the cycle over in a new place.
  • Arc Words: "What's next for the Tragedy Girls?"
  • Asshole Victim: Lowell's a Serial Killer like the two protagonists, and is the only one of the girls' victims to count.
  • Attention Whore: The girls' motive can basically be boiled down to an insatiable need for fame and attention, no matter who has to suffer.
  • Auto Erotica: The film begins with what appears to be the standard opening for a slasher film: a blonde girl and her boyfriend making out in the backseat of a car with steamed-up windows at the local make-out spot (in this case, a covered bridge). The girl hears a noise and sends the boy out to investigate. However, when the Serial Killer does show up, the film goes in a completely different direction.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The girls get everything they wanted in the end, and become celebrities, with no one being the wiser to their true natures (at least, who's left alive).
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Early on, the girls dissolve a corpse in industrial lye, and mention they had to practice on stray cats and dogs in order to get the formula right. When she gets home, Sadie's dad asks if she's seen the cat lately...
  • The Bait: Sadie acts as this for Lowell in the opening. He falls for it, hook, line, and sinker.
  • Big Guy Rodeo: During the fight in the gym, McKayla jumps on to Big Al's back in a desperate attempt to pull him away from Sadie.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both of the girls act like charming, likable students whose biggest fault is social media addiction and milking the local tragedies a little too much, but are ultimately harmless. In reality? Not even close.
  • Black Comedy: How could a satire about two teenage serial killers be anything else?
  • Blatant Lies:
    • McKayla's explanation for how blood got onto the soles of her shoes.
      ...Heavy flow day.
    • At the end, the girls claim they want to live normal, anonymous lives as ordinary students. Even if the world doesn't realize they're murderers, this would come off as a baldfaced lie to anyone who follows their blog.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Sadie sports a pixie cut she dyed platinum blonde throughout the film.
  • Brick Joke: A very dark one occurs. Early on, the girls mention having practiced on stray cats and dogs to get the formula for industrial lye right. Much later at the town hall meeting, when you've probably forgotten about this, a random guy yells out, "And what about our missing pets?!" Yeah, buddy, about that...
  • Car Fu: The girls attempt to kill Toby by running his motorbike off the road. However, he turns out to be Not Quite Dead and McKayla has to finish him off with a knife.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Sheriff Welch tries to tell Jordan to stay away from Sadie.
    • On the flipside, the girls try to tell him they have a stalker — which, since Lowell's escaped, is actually true — but because of their Attention Whore antics, he doesn't believe them.
  • Chairman of the Brawl: During the attack in Jordan's bedroom, Sadie mashes a chair over Lowell's head.
  • Childhood Friends: McKayla and Sadie go way back, all the way to elementary school. They've been murdering people since elementary school too.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: McKayla is easily jealous, and hates the fact that Sadie has other friends. In one scene, she hugs Sadie and nuzzles against her neck while telling Jordan he ought to find a prom date, not-so-covertly telling him to go away. It's allegedly platonic. Allegedly.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: After he refuses to help the girls, Lowell is tazed, locked in a box, and forced to subsist on canned dog food.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Sadie and McKayla are not afraid to fight dirty, and frequently utilize Improvised Weapons, knives, and guns against their unarmed victims.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: All of them. Seriously, the least gruesome death goes to Lowell, who gets shot. Everyone else gets treated to a drawn-out, gory, painful way to go.
  • Daddy's Girl: Sadie is very close with her dad, making him dinner and doting after him. He in turn is protective when she goes on a date, staring at the boy with a long, blank stare to intimidate him into not trying anything. Sadie's mom is absent, which makes this even more telling, indicating she might have stepped into her mom's role with him.
  • Deadly Disc: During the fight in the gym, Sadie throws several barbell weights at Big Al's head.

  • Dead Star Walking: Josh Hutcherson doesn't even survive the first twenty minutes. In fact, his death was heavily featured in the advertising.

  • Death by Cameo: Josh Hutcherson gets rather brutally murdered, and it was in all the ads. Craig Robinson doesn't fare much better.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Sheriff Welch becomes utterly despondent after Jordan dies.
  • The Dividual: Played with. Many characters — including the girls themselves — see Sadie and McKayla as this, the latter even describing them as "the same person." However, Jordan and Lowell both note, in very different ways, that the girls are more unique than you'd think at first glance. They ultimately seem to decide that they are different, but in a "our whole is greater than the sum of our parts" kind of way, since McKayla pushes Sadie to act, while Sadie keeps McKayla reigned in.
  • Do Wrong, Right: All over the place. McKayla and Sadie frequently chastise each other for shoddy technique during their kills, and when Craig turns out to be Not Quite Dead at the beginning, they're both severely unimpressed with Lowell.
    McKayla: You couldn't even do that right?
  • Doting Parent: Mr. and Mrs. Hooper love their daughter to bits, and fawn over her. Clearly, they have no clue what she's really been getting up to...
  • Dumb Blonde: Inverted with Sadie; she's quite intelligent and schemeful compared to McKayla's poor impulse controls.
  • Enfant Terrible: It's revealed that the girls committed their first murder when they were only children.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first minutes of the movie, Sadie and McKayla capture a serial killer... by setting up their classmate up as bait. Rather than expressing horror that their classmate was just murdered, the girls Squee over their victory. They then work together to knock the killer out, complaining about the poor quality tasers they bought, before finally whacking him over the head with a baseball bat. Audience, meet the Tragedy Girls!
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Or, in this case, Even Bad Girls Love Their Parents. While we don't see too many scenes of the girls interacting with their parents, they do appear to care about them, at least a little, and act affectionately towards them. Notably, the girls don't trash-talk them when they're alone, the same way they do Toby, Jordan, and Big Al, implying that the affection is genuine.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Just about the only redeeming quality our protagonists show is that they truly and deeply care for one another.
    • They also appear to genuinely care about their parents.
    • Subverted by Sadie's affection for Jordan. She does seem to like him a bit, but she kills him with no remorse when He Knows Too Much.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Sadie is disgusted when she sees McKayla making out with Toby while he is dying.
    • Sadie calls McKayla out for taunting Jordan about the death of his mother. Subverted, as it turns out, they killed her, and Sadie didn't want McKayla to blow their cover.
  • Evil Duo: The titular serial killer pair.
  • Evil Mentor: The girls initially want Lowell to be this for them, teaching them how to be effective murderers, but he doesn't go for it. So they settle for learning as they go, and using him as a scapegoat.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The girls versus another Serial Killer, Lowell.
  • Failed a Spot Check: After the murder of Syl, a janitor walks in as Sadie and McKayla are chopping up her body. He doesn't even notice.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The movie starts as many slasher films do — with the pretty blonde making out with a guy in a car in a secluded area, before he promptly gets butchered by a mysterious killer. The pretty blonde runs away and the killer gives chase... and he's promptly captured by the pretty blonde and her friend, who set the whole thing up as a trap for him.
  • Fille Fatale: Sadie and McKayla are a pair of teenage Serial Killers who have no problem using their beauty and charisma to get close to their male victims. Sadie's also perfectly willing to go as far as actual sex if it means they can accomplish their goals.
  • Final Girl: Played with. Sadie and McKayla are viewed as real-life final girls by the media after the massacre at prom, but, as the audience knows, they're the ones that were behind the massacre in the first place.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Sadie and McKayla, frequently.
  • Foil: McKayla and Sadie have a lot in common, but they contrast each other a lot, too.
    • McKayla is wealthy and has both her parents; Sadie lives in a trailer with her father.
    • McKayla has no friends outside of Sadie; Sadie has Jordan, who is also attracted to her.
    • McKayla is driven by her impulses and emotions; Sadie is driven by her schemes and intelligence.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • At the scene in the cafe, McKayla states that she and Sadie haven't gone on their first killing spree yet. Note the wording — she does not say they haven't killed anyone. Turns out, their first murder was years ago.
    • Sadie and McKayla are very much opposed to the prom getting cancelled. Turns out, they have a plan to kill everyone there.
    • When Sadie and McKayla are getting ready to kill Toby they check themselves out in the mirror. McKayla jokes that they'll need to start wearing masks, because if they keep dressing so well people will know it's them. Later, while wearing masks and stalking Syl, McKayla is recognised by her distinctive shoes.
  • Fragile Speedster: Sadie is very good at fighting. Even so, she's petite and gets overpowered twice by far stronger men, only being saved by McKayla or someone else intervening.
  • Frame-Up: McKayla and Sadie plan to kill people, then pin all the blame on Lowell, who they're holding hostage. A few bumps notwithstanding, it works.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Sorta. Lowell doesn't have anything to do with Sadie and McKayla's murders, but he is responsible for four other murders in the backstory. The cops and media mistakenly assume all the deaths are the work of one Serial Killer.
  • Freudian Excuse: Utterly averted. The film goes out of its way to show that Sadie and McKayla had very normal, very stable upbringings, with parents that love them. They weren't bullied in school, or scarred for life by some traumatic event. Nothing made them bad; they just are.
  • Freudian Trio: The three main characters fit the bill. Sadie is the calculating, scheming Ego, McKayla is the emotion-driven, impulsive Id, and Jordan is the levelheaded, easygoing Superego.
  • Good Parents: The girls' parents are shown to be affectionate, attentive, and caring. The girls grew up to be utter monsters anyway, not that their parents realize this. Well, they tried...
  • Gunman with Three Names: Lowell Orson Lehmann. Sadie lampshades it, commenting, "Good name for the news!" Sure enough, the news report at the ends refers to him by all three names.
  • He Knows Too Much: Sadie hangs Jordan when he finds out what she really is. Though, given the finale, she probably wasn't gonna let him live either way.
  • Hero Antagonist:
    • Sheriff Welch is determined to find out who the killer is, and wants to keep his son safe.
    • Big Al, the fire marshal, is determined to protect the community, and rallies people to try and hunt the killer down.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sadie and McKayla are lifelong best friends and partners in crime. Though the "heterosexual" part is really debatable.
  • Holding Hands: Sadie and McKayla do this a lot, to show how close and affectionate their friendship is (or it might hint that their relationship isn't entirely platonic).
  • Honey Trap:
    • McKayla tries to do this with Big Al, but he doesn't even seem to notice.
    • Sadie also pulls it on Jordan, who very much does notice. She winds up not actually killing him. Not right then, anyway.
  • Hot-Blooded: McKayla is extremely impulsive, leading to Sadie having to rein her in.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The girls claim this at the end, saying that after the massacre, they just want to live ordinary lives. It's a lie, of course.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Jordan begins to suspect there's something off about McKayla when she taunts him over the fact that his mother's murder was never solved, since the death was never officially ruled as a murder. However, he suspects that McKayla simply knows the murderer, since she was only a kid when it happened. He didn't realize she actually did it... or that Sadie helped.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In one of the few deaths the girls aren't behind, the mayor winds up impaled on a flagpole.
  • Improvised Weapon: Chains, weights, saws... anything that's around is fair game.
  • Intrepid Reporter: The Tragedy Girls present themselves as these, and come off as selflessly brave journalists to the rest of the community.
  • It Gets Easier: McKayla reveals she was a wreck after she and Sadie killed Jordan's mother, and was on the verge of breaking down entirely. Clearly, she's gotten over this by the time of the film.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lowell's comments about Sadie ordering McKayla around and having an ego aren't exactly incorrect.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Big Al is hotheaded and impulsive, but he's genuinely trying to protect the community. When Sadie shows up at the gym to kill him, his immediate instinct is to protect McKayla, at least before he realizes she's in on the attack too.
    • Mrs. Kent is abrasive, blunt, and cheating on her husband, but she cares about her students.
    • Toby comes off as a self-involved tool, but when he gets an ominous phone call that makes him think McKayla is in danger, he immediately goes off to check on her.
  • Karma Houdini: Not only do the girls not get caught, they get everything they wanted, and more. International fame, a book deal, an upcoming movie about them... and everyone who knows the truth about them is dead.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In a very literal example, the girls admit to having killed several cats and dogs in order to figure out how to dissolve a body. They say they used strays, which is already awful, but then it's implied they used Sadie's own pet cat, too — and a guy at the town hall meeting mentions that many neighborhood pets have gone missing.
    • McKayla hates Jordan, and goes out of her way to be needlessly rude — even though, as Sadie points out, he's the sheriff's son and edits their videos for them, so antagonizing him isn't really a good idea.
    • At one point, Sadie doesn't correct a reporter who credits all of the Tragedy Girls' work to her. McKayla is very hurt by this.
    • During their argument, McKayla makes a nasty comment about Sadie's "ratchet-ass trailer." Even Sadie looks taken aback at how petty this is.
  • Kill It with Fire: Sadie and McKayla kill their entire class on prom night with a fire they engineer to happen while in the auditorium, locking them all inside.
  • Kubrick Stare: Sadie does this whenever she decides to kill somebody. McKayla borrows it when Sadie pushes her too far, but she can't go through with it.
  • Lack of Empathy: The titular Tragedy Girls. Both have none aside from for each other, along with their parents, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. To them, murder is a mere stepping stone to fame.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Syl is a popular cheerleader that has her moments of bitchiness, but she's not really a bad person. She does charity work and is generally pretty nice — most of her nastier moments can be attributed to her being a stressed teenager that's lashing out.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Jordan simply refuses to believe Sadie is a monster... right until she hangs him.
  • Machete Mayhem: Lowell wields a machete as his weapon of choice and scores several kills with it in the course of the film.
  • Made of Iron:
    • Craig survives a machete wound across the face and is left to bleed to death for at least an hour with no medical treatment, and still has to be suffocated by Sadie.
    • Toby survives a brutal motorcycle crash that leaves his leg broken so badly it bends practically 90 degrees, gets stabbed five times, is also suffocated, and still spits out some last words.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Inverted. Sadie and McKayla are really irritated when the cops keep ruling their murders as "accidents," despite all their efforts to make it clear they're not.
  • Malevolent Masked Men:
    • Lowell wears a bag mask when he is out on the hunt.
    • When murdering Syl, McKayla and Sadie wear blank white masks. After murdering Jordan, they put on pink and green masks, respectively, and wear them as they burn down the gymnasium where prom is being held.
  • Meaningful Name: The main characters' last names are Cunningham and Hooper, as in Sean S. Cunningham and Tobe Hooper, two famous slasher film directors.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Sadie's mom is never mentioned, and she lives alone with her father.
    • Jordan's mother died when he was a kid. He has Sadie and McKayla to thank for that.
  • Monster Fangirl: Sadie and McKayla introduce themselves to Lowell as his "biggest fans." However, they very quickly grow disillusioned with him.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: During the final confrontation in the theatre, Lowell is advancing on Sadie with a machete when McKayla pulls a gun out of her purse. Lowell just looks confused (as he thinks McKayla is on his side) as she proceeds to shoot him several times.
  • Nice Guy: Jordan, who's calm, supportive, kindhearted, and loyal to a fault.
  • Nice Shoes: McKayla wears hot pink high-tops with matching laces, which is what tips Syl off that McKayla is one of her killers.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Both girls show an unhealthy interest in death, what with being Serial Killers and all. In one scene, Sadie blows off an Almost Kiss with Jordan to peer at some pictures of violent crime scenes, noting how "amazing" the blood splatter is. In another, McKayla makes out with Toby while he bleeds to death. Their friendship has certain undertones to it as well.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Surely having the light switch and the switch for the circular saw in the wood shop next to each other and looking identical is an accident waiting to happen? As demonstrated when Syl turns on the saw while trying to turn on the light, and is later killed by the saw when she is dragged into it by an extremely dangerously located hoist.
  • Not Quite Dead: Both Craig and Toby survive the initial attempts on their lives, albeit in very bad shape, leading Sadie and McKayla to intervene.
  • Oblivious Janitor Cut: The school janitor walks into the wood shop and empties the rubbish bin while failing to notice Sadie and McKayla dismembering a body on a bench about 10 ft. away from him.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • The girls decapitate Syl after her death, and leave her head on a turntable for someone to find the next morning. A custodian comes in, whistling a happy tune, as the girls are cutting Syl's body apart and stupidly doesn't even notice what's going on, much less that anything is wrong.
    • Big Al's head gets taken off by a set of weights falling on his neck.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The girls when they realize Lowell's escaped.
    • Just about everyone's reaction when they realize they're about to be brutally killed. Examples include Syl after she is sent into a table saw to cut open her head, this after falling into a trap set by the girls; and Big Al, after being knocked on a weight bench and seeing the barbell about to crash into his forehead.
  • Only Friend: It's all but stated that Sadie is all McKayla has by way of friends. Sadie at least also has Jordan, sort of.
    McKayla: You don't need other friends. You've got me.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Syl's full name is Sylvia, but no one ever calls her that.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Nicky Whelan mostly puts on an impeccable American accent playing Mrs. Kent. Saying certain words though causes her native Australian accent to bleed through.
  • Overly Long Gag: Toby takes so long to die, it circles back around into being hilarious.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Granted, the girls do a pretty good job of seeming normal and well-adjusted at home, but it's still sort of amazing that their parents don't have any clue about their true natures.
  • Perspective Flip: The movie's basically a Slasher Movie, except instead of following a group of teenagers who get picked off one-by-one by a mysterious killer, we follow the killers as they go on their murder spree.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Sadie regularly cooks for her father. When she leaves for college at the end, she tells him she has ten dinners ready for him in the fridge.
    • In general, the girls seem genuinely fond of their parents. Some of McKayla's scenes with her mom and dad would be downright heartwarming if they weren't so painfully oblivious about what their "sunshine" is doing after school.
    • Even after their falling-out, McKayla still refuses to let Lowell kill Sadie, even telling him, "She's off-limits."
  • Police Are Useless: The local police department hasn't been making any headway with solving the killings, which the Tragedy Girls exploit to hell and back. Jordan even admits the deputies are basically useless.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: The film has the friendship between McKayla Hooper and Sadie Cunningham. As evil and psychopathic as both girls are, they truly and deeply love one another, and frequently hold hands, spend all their time together, and kill people together to achieve fame. It's to the extent that their temporary falling-out is treated like a breakup, and both are clearly deeply miserable without each other. Yeah, their friendship is closer than a lot of people's marriages. They share everything with one another, and are also very physically affectionate, frequently holding hands or leaning on each other.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: McKayla and Sadie, respectively. McKayla's hotheaded, emotional, and impulsive, where Sadie is far more cold, calculating, and calm.
  • Revealing Hug: Sadie frequently looks bored or irritated while hugging and kissing Jordan, indicating that she's not quite as into him as he believes.
  • Salt and Pepper: The titular girls: Sadie is white, McKayla's black. Sadie's the more level-headed, and McKayla's slightly hot-headed. Overall, they're pretty alike though.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Sadie and McKayla have a falling-out halfway through, when the fame begins to go to Sadie's head. They make up when McKayla saves Sadie's life.
  • Serial Killer:
    • Our "heroes". Over the course of the film, they kill Craig, Toby, Syl, Big Al, Mrs. Kent, Lowell, Jordan, and the entire senior class. That last one technically makes them mass-murderers. Oh, and they also killed Jordan's mom in the backstory.
    • Lowell killed four people before the movie began.
  • Serial Killer Baiting: It opens with Sadie and McKayla succeeding to trap Lowell. The baiting operation took them quite a lot of work; figuring out Lowell's pattern, his usual hunting grounds, what kind of girls he liked to kill. Even then, it took a lot of trial and error (and a lot of trips to the local Makeout Point) before he finally showed up.
    Sadie: You really have a thing for girls with short hair. Fortunately for everyone, I look great in a pixie cut.
    McKayla: She does.
    Sadie: All it took was a few boys to set the trap.
    McKayla: Do you know how many handjobs this girl had to give? Like, thirty.
  • Shout-Out:
    • McKayla describes Syl's gruesome (and utterly ridiculous) demise as, "Some serious Final Destination shit."
    • While disposing of a body by dissolving it in industrial lye, the girls admit they got the idea from Breaking Bad.
    • Sadie makes a reference to Yoda when she explains looking for a teacher to Lowell.
    • The way the Mayor is impaled on the flagpole is staged exactly like the unfortunate native from Cannibal Holocaust.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the girls tell him they think someone's following them, Sheriff Welch dryly suggests they stop checking their location online everywhere they go.
    McKayla: [dead serious] I'd rather die.
  • Slashed Throat: Mrs. Kent is killed by McKayla this way.
  • Slasher Movie: The film's best described as a slasher movie, told from the point of view of the killers.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: It's primarily comedic, with even the murders being shown in a darkly hilarious light, but when the film decides to really get scary... hoo boy.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Way, way over on the cynical side.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "All I Have to Do is Dream" by the Everly Brothers, a serene, soft tune, playing over the entire senior class getting burned to death as our heroes watch.
  • Spoiler Cover: Several of the posters and the cover to the DVD clearly show the massacre on prom night.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Yes. Sadie Cunningham and McKayla Hooper are quite possibly two of the most evil teenagers to ever exist onscreen.
  • Third-Person Person: McKayla's ex-boyfriend Toby constantly refers to himself in the third person. For example, when McKayla and Sadie suggest he promote their blog on his Twitter feed, he replies that Toby thinks it would be off-brand for Toby to do that.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Sadie has a short haircut and slightly masculine clothing, but isn't averse to wearing dresses at times (like for her prom).
  • Trouble Entendre: Sadie and McKayla argue in front of the prom committee about killing Jordan, with McKayla saying Sadie should've bought "gold balloons for the prom" and accusing her of not being committed to having a perfect prom. This is actually a double trouble entendre, as they really are in part talking about their plot to murder everybody at their version of the perfect prom.
  • Twerp Sweating: Sadie's (very large) dad does this to Jordan when he arrives to pick Sadie up for the prom just by standing in the doorway—and completely filling it—and staring silently at Jordan as he blathers nervously.
  • Unnervingly Heartwarming:
    • The girls clearly hold lots of genuine affection for each other and are the best of friends, frequently holding hands, sticking up for each other, and planning out their lives together. It's all very sweet until you're reminded that those plans involve a killing spree, and the thing that draws them together is a lust for blood.
    • Similarly, they both get along well with their parents and actually seem sort of human when interacting with them, hammering in how utterly and painfully clueless they are about their after-school activities.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Our main characters are awful, awful people, which makes for some excellent Black Comedy.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Entirely averted. The girls were always psychopaths, and were murderers before they even began high school.
  • Vehicular Assault: Sadie and McKayla use their car to ram Toby's motorcycle off the road.
  • Villain Protagonist: The movie's main characters are serial killers, and not the sympathetic kind, either.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Sadie and McKayla carefully maintain their image as teenage intrepid reporters just trying to solve the serial murders plaguing their town (which they mostly commit themselves). At worst, they get denounced by Mrs. Kent for using this to advance their future careers. By the end of the film, not only has Sadie been awarded for saving Jordan (whom she later killed) but they're hailed for being the survivors of the massacre they committed, with a book deal, a film deal and full rides to college as a result.
  • We Can Rule Together: Lowell offers this to McKayla, in exchange for letting him go. She laughs him off, but later takes him up on it when he escapes and the girls have a falling-out. It's then subverted when he turns on her, not forgetting how awfully she and Sadie treated him... and it turns out McKayla was prepared for this, and she shoots him dead.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mrs. Kent publicly calls the girls out for milking the local tragedies for their own gain. She's more right than she could possibly know.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The only thing we know for sure is that Rosedale is somewhere in the Midwest, but Jordan's suggestions for where Sadie could go to college (Kent State and Ohio State University) suggest it's in Ohio. It was filmed in Kentucky, which borders Ohio, and they're both part of a Tristate area that often counts the other states for "in state" tuition.
  • Writing About Your Crime: The entire plot. The Tragedy Girls commit crimes which they then recount on their website to rack up views and likes.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Big Al realizes Sadie and McKayla's true natures and they are vicious murderers, he confronts them, at one point knocking Sadie down and attempting to break her neck. Unfortunately, McKayla sneaks up on Al and stabs him in the chest, and the two finish him off by having his head severed in half after knocking him on a bench and sending a heavy barbell crashing down.