Do Revenge lands on Netflix today (September 16) – and it's already proving popular with critics. So much so, in fact, that the twisty black comedy is being earnestly compared to campy cult classics Heathers and Mean Girls.
Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, which is in turn inspired by Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, the film was directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. It centers on Drea (Riverdale's Camila Mendes), an IT girl who falls from grace when a nude video of herself intended for her boyfriend is leaked, and Eleanor (Stranger Things' Maya Hawke), who is shunned by her peers when a rumor about her forcibly kissing another girl starts spreading. Determined to turn their lives around, the pair team up to take down one another's bullies.
Euphoria's Austin Abrams, 13 Reasons Why's Alisha Boe, Ms. Marvel's Rish Shah, and Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner also star, while Sarah Michelle Gellar makes a cameo as The Headmaster.
The New York Times' Amy Nicholson describes Do Revenge as "a playful, sharp-fanged satire that feels like the '90s teen comedy hammered into modern emojis: crown, knife, fire, winky face." Elsewhere, The Daily Beast's Coleman Spilde boldly calls it a "cackle-inducingly funny" and a "generation-defining masterpiece."
Mama's Geeky Tessa Smith claims Hawke and Mendes make a "phenomenal" duo, while Digital Spy's Ian Sandwell promises viewers "plenty of darkly entertaining fun" and Ready Steady Cut's M. N. Miller describes the flick as "wickedly entertaining and full of surprises". The Guardian's Adrian Horton gives it four stars.
A.V Club's Courtney Howard writes: "Robinson and her collaborators infuse Do Revenge with an appropriately clear-eyed view of the futility and stupidity of high school social hierarchies. Though her narrative would be better served by a more streamlined approach, being messy and loving drama ultimately mirrors many the collective teenage experience – thankfully, not everyone’s is as heightened as the characters in this film, but sometimes it can be fun to watch from a distance."
"Hawke and Mendes do a fantastic job of never giving the audience a clear person to root for," suggests Polygon's Pedrana Radulovic. "At first, their friendship seems inspired, as they unite against those who wronged them. But then it turns one-sided and toxic. And then it mutates into something else entirely. It's a hell of a ride, all done with soft, influencer-worthy pastels."
Not everybody appears to be a fan, however. Blu-ray.com's Brian Orndorf argues that the movie is "overwhelmed" and "overlong".
Do Revenge is available to stream now. If you've already checked it out, and aren't sure what to watch next, then be sure to use our list of the best Netflix movies for some viewing inspiration.