Gina Moen’s life is good, popular at work, her wedding only two weeks away, and with her friends planning a bachelorette party with some surprises in store, not the least of it that they are going to stage a “kidnapping” to transport her to a remote lakeside cabin outside Heggelia and that several of her ex boyfriends have also been invited, though fortunately despite accepting the offer they are wisely absent on the day.
But holiday snaps of smiling couples showing off engagement rings are not the whole story; Gina and fiancé Even having had an argument that morning she doesn’t know if the wedding is still on, she is concerned about unpredictable her ex-boyfriend Lars, now dating Stine who was once a close friend, and Even’s sister Ida has warned Gina that he has a jealous streak she wasn’t aware of.
The horror-themed party taking place in the northern forests of Norway where cell reception is poor, the other girls make themselves scarce leaving Gina to solve the clues they have left about the cabin and outbuildings along with some surprises like an axe-carrying robed figure lurking in the shadows – surely just another prank intended to scare her?
The ensemble led by Viktoria Winge, Tinashe Williamson, Julia Schacht, Marte Sæteren, Linni Meister and Veslemøy Mørkrid as Gina, maid of honour Marte, driver Camilla, Stine, Elise and Ida with Anders Rydning and Aleksander Sylvan as Even and Lars, All Must Die (Utdrikningslaget, more simply The Bachelor Party) is directed by Geir Greni from a script co-written with Robert Næss which sets false expectations and misdirections from the opening scenes meaning nothing can be trusted.
Knowing Gina is a horror fan whose friends work in film there are legitimate reasons for her not to react when she finds the riddles increasingly threatening or a decapitated head in the outhouse, presuming it’s just a convincingly lifelike prop, the characters and the viewer genuinely unable to determine what is real and what is fake, whether perhaps the whole film is just a practical joke played on both similar to April Fool’s Day.
Where All Must Die fumbles is in the unavoidable reveal, a disappointingly worn cliché compounded by a recap of the previous day from a different perspective which is not only implausible (one person? on a bicycle? in their lunch hour?) but raises the question of why certain characters were exempted while others were removed from play immediately, the well realised and at times unsettling premise let down by indifference to the underlying mechanism of the plot.
All Must Die will be available on Digital Download from Tuesday 2nd August