REVIEW: Pretty Boy (2021)

dir. Marcel Walz.

In director Walz’s award-winning 2019 slasher Blind, Faye (Sarah French) was an actress adjusting to life without vision after a surgery gone wrong whilst a masked killer stalked her, wreaking havoc in her Hollywood Hills home. This sequel picks up where the original left off, attempting to answer some of the questions left hanging: who was the killer? And why was he targeting Faye?

Things open at a Valentine’s Day party in the home of record producer Preston (Jake Red), where a handful of guests have gathered to lament their single status and later pair off. The night progresses slowly, lingering in pink-lit rooms and zeroing in on the sex and drama, before things take a turn when the titular murderer (Jed Rowen) arrives with an unconscious Faye in his arms.

As Pretty Boy begins to pick off party goers one-by-one in an attempt to clear the house and have Faye to himself there are some satisfying kills for 80s slasher fans. The narrative is messy though, with twists and turns that are difficult to follow, eradicating characters that might have been better utilized in later scenes that try to explain the killer’s origins. In many ways it’s like watching three movies simultaneously, tethered together loosely only by Pretty Boy’s arrival.

Walz excels in set design and lighting, but it’s doubtful that audiences (whether they’ve seen the first film or not) will be able to overlook the fragmented structure. And whilst it’s likely this was only made for fans of Blind, tying up some of the loose ends and lingering questions, for newcomers Pretty Boy will fall flat.

⭐ ⭐

Mae Murray

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