What is the category for the kind of acerbic teen film that doesn’t fit in with the high school rom-com? Think Heathers, Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls…. Whatever those films have, Do Revenge wants it too, and with a shiny, Gen-Z coating. The influence of those movies is all over the trailer, from the absurd pastel prep school uniforms, to the casual game of croquet, to the observation that all teenage girls are “psychopaths.” And of course, there’s the plotting.
Perpetual high schooler Camila Mendes (Riverdale) plays Drea, the “Alpha it-girl” whose reputation takes a dive when her sex tape leaks to the school, presumably by her shady boyfriend Max (Austin Abrams). Maya Hawke (Stranger Things) plays Eleanor, an “awkward new transfer student” chagrined to discover one of her new classmates (Ava Capri) is her summer camp bully. After a chance encounter, these unlikely allies decide to team up and “do each other’s revenge.”
The first step to pulling off this plot is another teen movie staple, the make-over, which transforms Eleanor from drab alt girl to “high status cunt.” (All the better to lure in Max and expose him as a “fake woke misogynist hypocrite.”) And move over, Ken-ergy, because these girls are “giving off some serious Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction energy,” a.k.a. “Glenn-ergy.”
Do Revenge is writer-director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s follow-up to her Netflix heartbreak comedy Something Great. (She also penned the script for a little film called Thor: Love And Thunder.) But as far as young women striking back at a homophobic, patriarchal campus culture goes, true fans may see a closer connection to Robinson’s short-lived MTV series Sweet/Vicious.
The film also stars Rish Shah, Talia Ryder, Jonathan Daviss, Maia Reficco, Paris Berelc, Alisha Boe and Sophie Turner (that’s her screaming about getting framed in the trailer!). Do Revenge premieres on Netflix September 16, 2022.