Preachy, dumb, full of angst; everything you’d expect from the mind of a teenager. It’s one thing to have an underlying message in a movie, but please don’t start preaching to the audience through some overwritten narrative as if we’re unable to follow such a superficial plot. If you have any interest to watch this movie due to a sense of curiosity after seeing the trailer, let me save you some time. Here’s the movie: Adults and men in general are wrong and stupid and evil and social media and the internet can expose them and destroy their lives, and only teenage girls understand the world and as such must explain the world to everyone else.

As of this moment in writing my review of the movie, I am 47 minutes in, and still have not yet reached a point where I can tell you what the plot is. I can tell you what has happened: Someone is leaking pictures and videos of people in a small town on the internet and as a result, lives are lost and reputations ruined. While the trailer for Assassination Nation would lead you to believe this is a horror movie, I have only witnessed a teen drama thus far.

15 minutes later…

After an hour, the town has turned into some “Purge” type society where people are attacking one another wearing Halloween masks. Groups have formed that roam the streets, attacking other people to preserve their own reputations. Lies are spread through social media in order to manipulate the violent groups and push personal agendas. Even the police have become corrupted by the hate-filled town, leaving the town with no system of law and order. Quite a lot has changed over just a one week period. Eventually the brief moments of horror are interrupted to return us to the “message” that women are victims and men are bad.

While some, including myself, might say these scenes were heavily influenced by “The Purge” movies, I think they did a really good job with them. The special effects look great and you find yourself rooting for the main group of four to exact their revenge on the town. But we only get one scene of the girls getting revenge and then a musical, slow-motion walk to a stand-off scene between the girls and the rest of the town. What happened after that? THAT’S the movie I want to see.

In the end, it turns out the main girl’s brother was actually the one who was leaking everyone’s private information online. His motive? He thought it would be funny. Once again showing us how men are bad. The sad part is, had they expanded more on the horror sequences, I don’t think this would have been such a bad movie. Instead, it’s obvious this movie was created to preach to the viewers about the importance of girl power.

This movie is…

Could have been so much more.

Cheers and goodnight.