Director – Brandon Guiles (Lower Spirits, All My Friends are Dead)
Starring – Tiffani Van Dorn (Cocaine Stepdad, One Reckless Weekend), Brandon Guiles, and Katie Osoki
Release Date – 2023
Rating – 3.5/5
Several years ago I befriended indie filmmaker Brandon Guiles who was working on his web-series Lower Spirits. This comedic spin on ghost hunting was picked up for a time by Troma for their streaming Service TromaNow. Since then Brandon has worked on a few films that I’ve been lucky enough to review. I really enjoyed his film All My Friends are Dead so when he reached out to me to review his newest film Peggy I jumped at the idea. I want to thank Brandon for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to see your newest film!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Peggy (Van Dorn) who lives with her father. It’s been sometime since she graduated high school but she has a hard time letting go of the torment she suffered those few years. Now, she is getting revenge on those that hurt her and her friends during those crucial high school years and the perfect opportunity presents itself when all the bullies come back to town for a wedding. **Spoiler Alert**
Brandon Guiles doesn’t make films and web-series for horror fans with a taste for blood and gore. If torture porn is more your speed then you will dislike what he brings to the table. However, if you are a movie fan with a fondness for horror then you will appreciate Guile’s style and tone. His films remind me a lot of direct to video horror films from the mid-to late 90s meets Kevin Smith. The horror is there but doesn’t always take center stage. I really like them and Peggy is no exception. It’s a fun indie film that could easily have a follow up.
The acting in this one is great. I absolutely loved Tiffani Van Dorn as Peggy. She’s fantastic as the cold-blooded killer but her character is more than that. We see her in various stages of the day as a twenty-something woman and she absolutely nails it. Guiles stars as a cop investigating the murders who is also a former classmate of Peggy. I really like Guiles and how natural he is in front of the camera but he just doesn’t have that cop look. The remainder of the cast is solid as well. We get a lot of fun characters and the cast does a great job bringing them to life.
The story for this one feels like a slasher except the killer is known and does not wear a mask. We follow someone that was wronged or felt like they were wronged and seeks revenge. A few tweaks to the script and you would have a traditional slasher . However, I really enjoy it the way it is. We don’t have enough pulpy serial killer films like Office Killer and Peggy really satisfied that need. With that being said, I could have used a few more on screen deaths but that doesn’t take away from the experience.
Finally, the film has some blood and a few gags that require minimal practical effects but nothing that would stand out to genre fans. I can appreciate the simplicity in the kills especially when you don’t have the budget to pull something off but I would have liked to see a little more bloodshed. Overall, Peggy was a lot of fun. It reminded me of why I love indie horror and I look forward to Guile’s next project. Fans of indie horror should really check this out.