Movie Review: “Besties” Could Have Benefited From A Much Stronger Script

besties

Review by James McDonald

A young girl and the babysitter she’s idolized for years become immersed in a manipulative and deadly friendship.

For as long as she can remember, fourteen year-old Sandy (Olivia Crocicchia) has adored and worshipped her beautiful twenty year-old neighbor Ashley (Madison Riley). Ashley used to babysit her when they were both younger and Sandy is infatuated with her. Every chance she gets, she spies on her from her bedroom window, Ashley all the while, unassuming. One weekend, Sandy’s father Danny (Corin Nemec) tells her that he has to go out of town for a work assignment and that she has to go with him. Instead, she asks him if it would be okay if Ashley babysat her and he agrees. Sandy makes her way to Ashley’s and after promising her that she would be allowed to have a few friends come over too, Ashley throws a party that evening. After the police break up the party because of a noise complaint, Ashley and Sandy are cleaning up the leftovers when a knock comes to the door.

Ashley opens the door and is taken aback when she sees her old boyfriend Justin (Christopher Backus) who has just been released from prison. He tries coming on to her but she informs him that she has a new boyfriend and to leave. As Sandy makes her way to the kitchen, he knocks on the back door and begins talking with her. Ashley sees this and pulls Sandy away from him and at this point he becomes aggressive. As he forces himself on Sandy, Ashley smacks him over the head several times with a frying pan and inadvertently kills him. Afraid of dashing her dreams as a model and going to jail, Ashley proposes that they get rid of the body. Sandy is initially reluctant and instead, thinks that they should call the police. After all, they were only defending themselves but she caves in to Ashley’s demands and they wrap the body up and dump it in the mountains.

Of course, with a story like this, things are never wrapped up nice and neatly, no matter how hard the two girls try to get on with their lives. Ashley tells Sandy that they are now ‘special friends’ and that they will tell nobody about what happened and talk to each other about anything and everything but we know that she is just manipulating her, making sure that she feels special. Ashley is a senior at the local high school and Sandy is a sophomore and when Sandy starts bragging to people that her and Ashley are good friends, Ashley freaks out and tells her that their friendship is to remain a secret. Ashley doesn’t seem to be bothered by what they did and is moving forward with her life and aspirations but we see Sandy struggle with the after-effects of their undertaking on a daily basis. At a pool party that one of Ashley’s friends is throwing, Sandy is invited and there she meets Jay (Bobby Soto), who just happens to be Justin’s step-brother.

Unable to live with the guilt, Sandy eventually tells Jay and he leaves the house upset. The film never shows us whether he went to the police or not because he really liked her. It leaves it open-ended and when Ashley finds out, she is outraged but at this point, Sandy realizes that she was never her friend and fabricated their so-called friendship for her own personal gratification. The acting was solid, especially by Olivia Crocicchia as the perplexed Sandy. Watching her inhabit a life of turmoil and confusion, not just over killing Justin but also about her own complex sexual inclination, really made you sympathize with her. The story wasn’t so far-fetched that it became unbelievable but at the same time, there wasn’t an awful lot of original material either so the movie floundered in between good and bad. I’ve seen much better quality movies but I’ve also seen a lot worse.

Now available on VOD

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James McDonald
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