“You know what?” Minnie said with a dramatic pause. “This is how horror movies start.” (58) And so it is in Gretchen McNeil’s Ten.  A seemingly innocent weekend house party on exclusive Henry Island turns deadly in less than 100 pages where best friends since middle school, high school seniors Meg and Minnie, are two of 10 guests invited to the most popular girl in school’s private party.  Other guests come from 2 other high schools in town and while the hostess is delayed on the mainland, the group of 10 make themselves at home.  Predictably, a torrential storm sets in, knocking out the power, Internet and phones, and a creepy DVD proclaims that this weekend is really all about vengeance.  As each teen meets a more gruesome fate than the last and red paint slashes on the foyer wall chalk up the body count, the remaining teens turn on each other, not knowing whom to trust or how to survive until the ferry comes on Sunday for the survivors.

Amidst the carnage, Meg finds herself struggling with her suppressed feelings for T.J., the cutest guy in school and her loyalties to Minnie, who’s professed crush on T.J. has held Meg back from pursuing a relationship that both she and T.J. want.  Meg is also wracked with guilt about her decision to leave Minnie and her many personal issues (depression, mood swings, jealousy, unchecked rage) to escape to college in Los Angeles where she hopes to start over without having to be the psychological support of a very needy friend.   When Meg discovers the private journal of a classmate who committed suicide in her room, she’s compelled to wonder if the disparate people at the party are linked together in some special way and if the ghost of a troubled girl could really be wreaking havoc on them.

Ten is a slasher movie on paper seemingly taking some inspiration from Thirteen Reasons Why. Predictable in just about every way, it doesn’t add anything new to the genre, but for those who enjoy revenge stories, slasher pics, and fast paced thrillers, you’ll enjoy the false clues, howling winds, and danger lurking around every corner.

  • Posted by Cori

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