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A psychotic serial slasher starts a bloodthirsty murder rampage at Cherry Falls high school that only kills the local high school virgins. This leads to the local teenage population organising a sex party in order to lose their virginity and thus no longer be targets... Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
Shamefully neglected horror thriller is probably the best slasher film to follow in the footsteps of Scream (1996), too bad it ended up being a television movie!
In the seemingly innocent town of Cherry Falls, Virginia, someone is murdering high school students who just happen to be virgins!
Clever premise, being a twist on the classic slasher convention of sex=death, pays off in this dark and splendidly suspenseful shocker. The direction of Wright is solid with the occasional touch of stylishness. He makes good use of the Virginia filming locations and adds some spooky elements, like the rather creepy looking killer. Ken Seldon takes what could have been a lousy concept and makes a wonderfully twisted and entertaining story. There's also the occasional touch of comic relief (like the have sex or die party) and a dark sense of humor about the story. The murder sequences are gory and shocking despite the limitations of TV censors, which caused some of the film to be edited.
The cast is pretty good. Young Brittany Murphy is appealing and likable as a rather unconventional leading girl. Michael Biehn is great as Murphy's father who's also the local sheriff. Jay Mohr is excellent as the rather timid school teacher who fears for his students safety. The supporting cast is also good, most notably Candy Clark as Murphy's slightly odd mother.
Cherry Falls is a film that really got the shaft on its releasing, as it's far superior to a number of the theatrically released slasher-by-the-numbers flicks that where out around the time. Horror fans, before you bother with the likes of Urban Legend (1998), the lousy Valentine (2001) or any sequel, give this one a turn! You just might find it to be one of the best!
*** 1/2 out of ****
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