12. Girls Against Boys

Director: Austin Chick
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Nicole LaLiberte, Michael Stahl-David, Liam Aiken, Raul Casso

Nothing says “female empowerment” like firing a bullet into a man’s derriere as he’s cuffed to a bedpost—right? That’s part of the conundrum surrounding Girls Against Boys, a fascinating look at a once-well-meaning college student’s (Danielle Panabaker) descent into vengeful man-killing. Equal parts gruesome horror picture and psychological thriller, writer-director Austin Chick’s midnight movie doesn’t play by any rules but its own, and, though its motivations aren’t always easy to digest, Girls Against Boys makes quite a few lofty statements about a woman’s scorn.

Panabaker’s character, Shay, starts off getting dumped by her older, married boyfriend and ends up getting raped by a dude she meets in a club—all within the film’s first 30 minutes. There to push her toward revenge is co-worker LuLu (Nicole LaLiberte), a sociopathic vixen who treats homicide with a blasé disposition. Together, the blood-lusting ladies go on an all-male-victim murder spree, going so far as to lop one guy’s feet off with a power drill.

Near the film’s third act, Girls Against Boys shifts its narrative toward a familiar angle seen in female-centric genre fare like Single White Female and its rip-off The Roommate. Chick, handling his characters with subtle ambiguity, sprinkles clues that hint at a deeper meaning to it all, and in its closing seconds Girls Against Boys all but asks to be watched again. Sign us up.

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