Five teen girls with secrets get together in a beach town for a night of "no consequences." Indeed: someone appears to be stalking them, and we're told from the start that only one will survive to tell the tale.
You may want to keep watching. This 2011 indie film is not what it appears to be.
Sort-of spoilers follow.
Of course, only one thing guarantees a night will have no consequences. Disturbing suggestions lurk in the corners of this film. Someone is stalking these girls, in life and online. Some of the people they encounter on their weekend seem suspicious. A good deal of the girls' behavior makes little apparent sense. And we begin to learn unsettling things about their pasts, and disturbing facts about one girl's future stepfather.
Writer/director Erica Dunton gets credit for taking the most overused thriller premise around and then, in the final twenty minutes, revealing that we're not watching that film. The first twist, the identity of the killer, I suspect many people will see coming. The real twist is another matter. It changes our understanding of the film, and explains aspects that seemed off. In addition to a clever twist, to.get.her has been comparatively well-produced and directed, especially when one considers that its total budget might purchase a decent mid-size car.
Unfortunately, between promising, if predictable, start and genre-bending, expectation-warping conclusion, we have most of the movie. Most of the movie consists of hackneyed teen drama. And some of the actors are not even equal to that material.
The best of this uneven and occasionally wooden lot is Jazzy De Lisser, who appeared briefly but memorably as Tansy in Game of Thrones, and was still a teen when she made this film-- a fact that should have made the filmmakers reconsider their other casting choices.
The film could not just present these characters as the twentysomethings they appear to be; certain aspects of the script require that the girls be teens. In that case, why not cast teens, or at least younger performers? The characters don't actually do anything a minor couldn't be asked to do onscreen, the actors don't especially shine in their roles, and their numerous interactions with adult characters emphasize their actual ages. I can accept overage teens onscreen when the films are stylized (the latest regurgitation of American Graffiti or Pie) or if the actors are passably youthful (Juno), but typical Hollywood casting works against this film. A cast of unknown youngsters would have added a visceral element that might have encouraged viewers to forgive certain flaws.
If you stay awake until the ending, you may appreciate to.get.her's knockout punch. Alas, the film's premise requires more suspense after the initial opening, and deserves more effective drama in the middle. Many viewers will have checked out by the time anything really interesting happens, and I suspect this is the main reason the film failed.
Written and Directed by Erica Dunton
Jazzy De Lisser as Ana Frost
Chelsea Logan as China Rees
Adwoa Aboah as Emily Mateo
Audrey Speicher as Abigail Pearce
Jami Eaton as Zoe Linderman
Jill Jackson as Margaret Frost
Ed Wagenseller as Robert Engledew
Traci Dinwiddie as Ruth
Jon Stafford as Peter
Jason Davis as Bryan
Cullen Moss as Paul
Taylor Kowalski as Gus
James Forgey as Daniel
Tammy Arnold as Therapist
Kaitlin Bellamy as Victim
Vicki Debaets as Mrs. Rees
Heather Dobbin as Zoe's sister
John Elliot Gray as bartender
Trisha Paytas as Fantasy Girl
John Pendergrass as Mr. Rees