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Film Review: Bad Match @ FrightFest 2017


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David Chirchirillo’s tinder horror relates with our experiences of the internet age, and offers a surprisingly fresh take in the process.

Starring Chase Williamson as internet playboy and serial Tinder, or rather, ‘Head-over-Heels’ right-swiper, we follow his slow downfall into lunacy when one girl won’t take no for an answer. Drawing inspiration from Fatal Attraction and playing out as an adept reconstruction that follows the same genre tropes, Chirchirillo is clever enough to stick to what’s already tried and tested. He isn’t afraid to add his own twists however, and brings the bunny-boiling narrative up to date in a millennial setting without being annoying in doing so.

After a series of night stands with various girls from dating app Head-over-Heels, Robby meets with Riley (Lili Simmons) and pulls his usual bash and dash antics. Not quite hearing the strain in his excuses or the shiftiness in his actions, Riley hangs around a little longer than Robby would like – causing some awkward conversations on boundaries and an unhappy split. When things start to spiral out of control in Robby’s personal life, there’s only one culprit he can think of that would be so malicious. But how far will both of them go before the line has been crossed?

Both leads do an incredible job of creating nuanced characters. They aren’t totally likable and they aren’t there really isn’t a side to be taken for a large part of the film, with Robby being a particularly mixed bag when it comes to actions and consequences. There isn’t a bad step with any of the performances throughout when the film is considered in it’s entirety either – whether it’s the clingy office mate or the demanding boss, each actor holds their on in the scenes they are given. For our leads, sympathy can be found in both storylines, though towards the end of the film it becomes increasingly apparent who is the player, and in what game.

The play on gender is an interesting one also. The power given to the opposite sexes and what this means in different situations is interesting to ponder, such as a woman’s safety on a night out versus the strong, independent representation we see in Robby’s manager, as well as the expectation placed on how each party should act.  

As for the other features of the film, an electronic soundtrack and world littered with emojis, mobile phones, and one bedroom flats will feel particularly resonant with a millennial audience, who the horrors of catfishing and internet stranger-danger are largely relevant. We all have our own knowledge of a Tinder story gone wrong, whether for ourselves or through a friend, and Chirchirillo visualises just how far this can go in Bad match.

Overall, he has created a fully rounded and interesting film, that engages the audience as much as it does surprise them at the end. As predictable as the genre formation is for the movie, Chirchillo still manages to pack a punch and potentially a laugh – tying up an interesting, fun, and socially live-wired narrative. 

Bad Match screened as part of FrightFest 2017's schedule.

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