"Do Revenge" Stylishly Resurrects the ‘90s Teen Movie with Costume Design from Alana Morshead
August 10, 2022

written by Savannah Walsh, Vanity Fair

Hell hath no fury like a teenager scorned. That’s the central conceit of Netflix’s Do Revenge, a candy-coated vengeance tale starring Camila Mendes (Riverdale) as Drea, described as an “Alpha, fallen it girl” who befriends Maya Hawke’s (Stranger Things) Eleanor, a “beta, new alt girl.” The pair form an alliance to “go after each other’s tormentors” in a plot that’s being billed as “a subverted Hitchcock-ian dark comedy featuring the scariest protagonists of all: teenage girls.”

Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, who made her feature directorial debut with 2019’s Someone Great, tells Vanity Fair via email that she aimed to explore “the angst and trauma of existing when you’re a teenage girl while also bringing back the style and tone of the high school movies I grew up loving.” The film’s moodboard is “overflowing” with influences, says Robinson, including ‘90s staples such as Clueless, Jawbreaker, Election, Cruel Intentions, and 10 Thing I Hate About You. She promises “easter eggs all over the film as a nod to these movies.” (Peep the trailer’s Heathers-esque croquet shot, for instance.) 

If the film’s newly-released first trailer is any indication, Do Revenge may be poised to introduce its own biting teen-movie vernacular to a new generation. Eleanor possesses “Glenn-ergy” (as in the aura of Glenn Close’s scheming Fatal Attraction character), while Drea refers to her fellow classmate as a “human Birkenstock.”

Longing for the “campy fun” of Y2K-era high school movies, Robinson enlisted co-writer Celeste Ballard and producer Peter Cron “to create a twisty, revenge tale that both creates its own distinct lane within the high school genre and pays homage to the films that inspired it,” complete with “wild costumes and lavish sets and audacious dialogue.”

Robinson embraced the idea of concocting a "GIRL WORLD" featuring outfits inspired by 1990s coouture runways from Versace to Chanel alongside costume designer Alana Morshead. Production design from Hillary Gurtler was influenced by the art of Lisa Frank and Slim Aarons. Music comes from Este Haim - known for the Grammy-nominated band she fronts with her sisters - and Amanda Yamate, who is part of the musical department at HBO Max's Gossip Girl. In short, "Do Revenge is like a Pinterest board exploded on Netflix."

The cast boasts a who’s who of up-and-coming talent, including Austin Abrams (Euphoria), Jonathan Daviss (Outer Banks), Rish Shah (Ms. Marvel), Talia Ryder (Never Rarely Sometimes Always), Ava Capri (Love, Victor), Maia Reficco (Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin), Paris Berelc (The Crew), with Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why), and Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones).

“I had no pre-conceived ideas of who should play Drea or Eleanor, but the minute I spoke with Camila and Maya I knew instantly they were the only people I could make this film with,” Robinson says, adding, “I felt that with the entire cast, honestly. It’s not just about finding people individually, but creating an ensemble that will work well together and boy, did that pay off. The chemistry you see on screen is so very real. All the actors became quite close while shooting. It felt like the proudest mom watching them all become best friends and they continue to hang out all the time.”

Do Revenge—grammatically correct or not—hits Netflix on September 16, 2022.

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