Rating: 4 out of 5.

Formerly titled Pensive, co-writer/director Jonas Trukanas makes his directorial debut with instant-classic slasher, We Might Hurt Each Other. Jason Vorhees may be in the rearview for some horror fans—after all, the iconic villain has not seen a proper cinematic entry since 2009’s gory Friday the 13th. Yet, Lithuanian horror We Might Hurt Each Other only cements Jason’s influence on all manner of genre flicks, new and old. A lakeside getaway in Lithuania stands in for Camp Crystal Lake; the general concept is much the same. Present a wide range of teen victims, develop a creepy backstory, strand the cast at a remote location with a maniacal killer on the loose, and see if anyone can survive the night. If that sort of movie sounds appealing, We Might Hurt Each Other will satiate the brutal slasher appetite, and then some.

Our central character here is Marius (Šarūnas Rapolas Meliešius), a shy adorkable teen who seems to be a complete outcast amongst his classmates. As such, Marius decides to skip out on the typical graduation escapades. However, when the class lacks a venue for their end-of-the-year rave, Marius offers up a cottage not even his real estate mamma has been able to sell off. Perhaps this could mean even a dash of popularity for Marius? His only friend appears to be champagne-chugging bestie Vytas (Povilas Jatkevičius)—fully supporting this change in venue, Vytas essentially vouches for Marius. Despite seeing “conspiracies everywhere,” risk-averse Marius finally decides to take a risk.

One needs only to have seen a handful of slasher movies to comprehend how this will play out. The douchey NBA-draft-hopeful Rimas (Kipras Mašidlauskas), Marius’s blonde-haired crush Brigita (Gabija Bargailaitė), the quiet girl who somehow knows-it-all, Saulė (Saulė Rašimaitė), and bald, drunken fool Zygis (Martynas Berulis) are among those who fill out the roster of potential victims. The camera shows the killer’s POV from somewhere off in the woods, as the group stops to observe the first of many creepy hand-carved totems. A character opines that “folk art turns me on.” 

The barren cottage itself is sparsely decorated—its dingy walls house a sole photograph of a family, an old television, and a couple dusty couches. Later, as the rave kicks into full swing, Marius cannot relax and enjoy himself. The group decides to start hacking up the wooden totems all over the property for firewood, despite being presented as proper art pieces. Is it any surprise that soon a masked killer shows up for his revenge? 

Some kills may be offscreen (typically a cardinal sin for any slasher), but the non-stop pace of We Might Hurt Each Other’s final act doesn’t give the viewer time to be upset. Any movie that features a moment with a brute killer hacking his way through a huge group of people, or ferociously bitch-slapping someone so hard that they drop to the ground, is okay in my book. Jonas Trukanas and Titas Laucius prove they have a deep understanding of the slasher genre, and create an intimidating figure in the film’s titular murderer. 

We Might Hurt Each Other checks all the boxes on its way to slasher royalty, blurring the lines between hero and villain with a few added twists and turns. Horror aficionados will find a comforting quality to its brutality and character-first scripting. Come for the Friday the 13th atmosphere; stay for the zippy dialogue and engaging character dynamics.

We Might Hurt Each Other slices and dices its way onto SCREAMBOX on Tuesday, July 11th. 

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