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Marina Antunes [Film Festival 07.29.19] Canada post apocalyptic action

An award-winning visual effects artist, editor, writer and now director, Jovanka Vuckovic has been pushing the envelope for women in horror for years and when she transitioned to making films, the excitement for horror fans was palpable. With four short films under her belt, Vuckovic makes her feature film debut with Riot Girls.

Set in a future where adults have disappeared and teenagers are the oldest people on earth, Paloma Kwiatkowski and Madison Iseman star as Scrath and Nat respectively, a pair of teens who venture into unfamiliar territory to rescue Nat's brother who has been taken by a rival gang.

It's a simple story but one that unfolds in a fascinating world built by TV writer Katherine Collins. This universe feels like a post-apocalyptic version of "Riverdale"-meets-The Warriors (letter jackets come with baggage), and while both Kwiatkowski and Iseman provide solid performances, everyone else is either stilted or flat, a result of both mediocre performances and very specific dialogue that doesn't fully work. There's also a comic book framework that provides an interesting stylistic visual that doesn't translate into the story.

Riot Girls is bold and unique and continues Vuckovic's history of taking risks and pushing boundaries and while it doesn't fully work, it's definitely not forgettable.

Recommended Release: XX

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