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In St. Marks catholic boarding school for girls, the religious student
Elizabeth (Krysta Carter) is attacked by evil forces and disappears
from the classroom and the impotent Father Drake (Ron Perlman) is
incapable of saving her. The school is closed and five years later it
is reopened. Five troubled unwanted girls - Alex (Jennifer Miller),
Mara (Jordan Madley), the blind Cecilia (Terra Vnesa), Leah (Barbara
Mamabolo) and Connie (Tasha May Currie) are left by their family in
the institution, severely directed by the headmistress Miss Pearce (Amy
Ciupak Lalonde) with hands of iron. Father Drake is their teacher and
the girls are forbidden to go to the mysterious third floor. When Alex
has visions of the possessed Elizabeth, weird things happen in the spot
and the girls have to fight against a legion of two thousand demons.
"5ive Girls" is not a bad horror movie as mentioned in some reviews. The problem is that the story is too ambitious for a low-budget movie. There are at least three great flaws in the plot. The first one is how could a school so big have only five students and one teacher? Would figurants be so expensive? The second one is the lack of an explanation why the demons attacked the boarding school. Last but not the least, why Mara has healing power? But anyway the story startles, the atmosphere is creepy, the gorgeous actresses have good performances and Ron Pearlman is efficient as usual. If you see this film with low expectations and disregard the flaws in the screenplay you may have a good surprise. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Demônios" ("Demons")
Five Girls is about five girls, some with special powers, who are sent to a catholic school for girls to get some discipline. After arriving, strange things start to happen and some of the girls start seeing visions. Maybe it's because the school has above the front door 'abandon all hope'. Ha ha, the words above the gates of hell. The head mistress is a real mean one and the priest worked at the same school before it closed down and he became a drunkard. Legion, the same set of demons that occupied one person from the Bible, takes over the characters and jumps from person to person. Kind of makes you wonder if legion was many why he didn't take over everyone at the same time, but There's more to the story, but it doesn't seem to help much. It's really just a bunch of cute teenage girls running around screaming. Some lesbian kissing, no real nudity. Some of the special effects were good, but it's not an A movie in any respect.
Similar concept, at least... five girls uniting their unique powers for
a common purpose. Here, it's to ward off some kind of demon.
I'm not going to bother going over the plot--that's what the plot outline is for. Rather, I will say that the production value was high, the five young women played their roles very well, the story moved quickly, and there was some surprisingly good dialogue every once in a while (humorous, reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer dialogue).
That said, a lot of the script was terrible. Plot holes, inconsistencies, and cheesy lines. It's almost as if two completely different people wrote the script: one wrote the scenes between the girls and the other wrote the "action" scenes. There's not a lot of gore, but a couple of "supernatural" special effects were borderline cool/cheesy.
The movie is entertaining, the cast is easy on the eyes (Ron Perlman aside), there aren't any twists or psych-outs. It's a decent flick and worth watching, especially if you're a fan of the "girls kick supernatural butt" genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
5ive Girls is set in St. Marks correctional school for girls where Alex
Garrison (Jennifer Miller) has been sent, after having been closed for
five years the school has been reopened with a small experimental group
of five female teenage delinquents. Run by the strict authoritarian
headmistress Anna Pearce (Amy Lalonde) & a kindly priest Father Drake
(Ron Pearlman) the girls, Mara (Jordan Madley), Connie (Tasha May),
Cecilia (Tara Vnesa), Leah (Barbara Mamabolo) & Alex are told not to
venture onto the third floor. Obviously that's precisely what they do &
they find a pentagram & evidence of devil worship as an evil demon
called Legion wants to possess the five gifted girls...
This Canadian production was written & directed by Warren P. Sonoda & I have to admit that I really didn't like 5ive Girls that much at all. The script & feel of the film instantly reminded me of The Craft (1996) with the basic concept of it's female gang of teenage outcasts who have some sort of magical ability, then 5ive Girls turns into a The Exorcist (1973) rip-off as a deep voiced demon from hell starts to possess the girls & there's even a vomiting scene as well (with a terrible CGI computer effect to go with it). The twists & turns of the plot aren't anything any seasoned horror film fan won't have seen dozens of times before & felt rather lacklustre to me, there's not much build up or suspense & even though all five girls are meant to have some sort of supernatural ability this aspect of the story is very poorly handled. It's not really clear what ability a couple of the girls have & none of them use their abilities to any great effect at all, in fact this subplot about these abilities goes nowhere. Also at the end the demon Legion states that he wants five victims with only Alex left but technically Legion had killed Father Drake so in fact he had killed five people & nowhere in the film did it state that it had to be five girls. This lacks any great pace, the twists aren't overly surprising, the character's are fairly clichéd & unlikable & the story is just very forgettable bar the spanking scene...
There's a great scene in this when the rather sexy headmistress makes Alex bend over a table, pulls her skirt up & smacks her bottom with a ruler! I was sitting there & kind of thought that looked rather fun actually, I mean the headmistress could spank my bottom anytime she wanted or is that just me being a weird pervert? A rather kinky but entertainingly memorable corporal punishment scene, probably the best scene in the film. There is some nudity too, couple the nudity with the fact they are schoolgirls in school uniforms & it left me with a very unpleasant feeling. One could argue that 5ive Girls has a slightly paedophilia tone, unintentional I am sure but school uniforms, young girls & nudity? Horror wise there's not too much here to get excited about, there are the usual flashes of ghosts, there's a bit of blood splatter & someone is impaled on a large cross at the end. There are some average looking CGI computer effects here with a rather black skeletal looking demon at the end. The mystery elements of the film just don't play out that well, I was never really overly bothered by what was happening to anyone & the story just didn't grab me.
With a supposed budget of about $3,000,000 all I can say is where did all the money go? The film takes place entirely within the confines of the school, the cast numbers about seven & I doubt even Hollywood star Ron Pearlman's wages were that demanding. Apparently shot in Hamilton in Ontario in Canada. The acting is alright, Pearlman looks disinterested while I must admit I had the hots for sexy strict headmistress miss Pearce or maybe that's just me being weird again...
5ive Girls is not a film that I could recommend to anyone, I just didn't like it really & it's as simple & straight forward as that. It's reasonably well made but when a film fails to grab you or entertain you so what?
Not a bad film by any means. The acting was solid, and it had some pretty good creepy moments. Ron Perlman is a favorite of mine, so I'm being a little more generous then I normally would. With a storyline like this one you expect some nudity and sex, thats just what everyone is generally looking for in a plot like this. There was some brief partial nudity, and some sexy moments, but not nearly enough for this type of story. If this film added in some of that excess I would have bumped it up to an eight rating. Fans of Perlman, or someone just looking for a decent dtv horror film, that entertains if not blows you away, should give it a look. Again, any film that takes place in an all girls' school, with a lesbian authority figure, better show some skin. Ron Perlman makes it worth a look, and the ladies do a fine job as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was not the worst I have ever seen, but not good. The character development was very poor like they wanted to but decided half way to completely abandon that, they abandon an explanation of the plot, the ending is not definitive. The lesbianism overtones were unnecessary and they did not even bother to develop it well, just a bad movie. I would have loved to see more on the original person, the aftermath, the priest and his story, maybe more on the history of the players. A ending of some sort would have been nice. The only saving grace is the acting, I think the acting was done well and that is why i gave this a 3 as opposed to a 1 or 2, the actors did the best they could with what they had to work with, perhaps the editing played a negative role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Other reviewers have already pointed out the various flaws that plague
this film but I still feel compelled to write my own review after
having just finished watching this terrible movie.
- the initial opening, before the girls start to chat...
- the ending; it's rare that when a movie begins to fall apart shortly after the introduction that we have a decent ending. I was relieved that Alex does die and we didn't get a clichéd "my healing power saved you!" resolution, which would end with the two heroines walking off into the sunset. The reappearance of Elizabeth and the twist with her father was also a rare bit of good writing in this flick.
- Miss Pearce: some have said they thought she (or her acting) was terrible. I can understand that viewpoint, although to me, Anna Pearce was the ONLY genuinely interesting character in the entire story. She was neither an imbecile like the five girls, nor too quietly dispassionate (i.e. boring) like the men (not to knock Ron Perlman's performance whatsoever, but his character really doesn't end up doing anything other than being fodder for Legion).
- the nudity: A friend and I once joked that you know a movie is absolute crap when the only thing positive you can point to as a heterosexual male is it had some female nudity, because otherwise watching it truly would've been a COMPLETE waste of time.
The Bad: - most of the movie; I must single out the writing and dialogue which is absolutely atrocious. It makes George Lucas seem like Shakespeare in comparison. While Pearce and Father Drake's dialogue are fine and bearable, it's the inane and imbecilic chatter among the five girls that drives a stake right into the heart of this movie. I can't even count how often I shouted out loud "Are these girls total idiots? Who wrote this piece of garbage?" as I watched this. The writer turns these girls into morons. They aren't particularly likable, which they need to be if you want the audience to at least care about their survival, and they never seem to bond in a way that doesn't feel forced by the writer for the sake of plot advancement. There's no chemistry between any of them.
- the direction; I didn't realize until visiting IMDb that the writer and director are one and the same. That's unfortunate. A good director can sometimes compensate for bad writing, or a good writer can sometimes overcome a bad director. When both are one and the same and the writing isn't good, nor is the direction, you have a disaster. The main problem here is that there are no real scares in this movie, nor is there even any tension. 5 girls are trapped in a school, supervised by people who seem to have an agenda (or are indifferent to something sinister affecting the students), it should feel claustrophobic and tense. Nope. Part of the problem is that any tension that might develop is ruined and undermined by the stupid choice of music - 6 times I said to myself "WTF? Why did the director pick this music to play?" taking me right out of the story. You don't play casual guitar if you want to ramp up the tension. Perhaps the idea was to foster an atmosphere of camaraderie and relaxation whenever the girls are together? If so, it was a dumb idea - because it doesn't work.
- the acting; this criticism is really only aimed at Jennifer Miller, who was either miscast or not putting much effort into the role. She's fine when whining to her dad, but in every scene afterwards, especially when trying to seem afraid or worried, it was excruciating to watch. I simply did not believe a moment of it - the fear wasn't there, the worry wasn't there - nothing. Again, it didn't help that the dialogue she was given to speak was just terrible, but the other actresses seemed to do a better job at being at least convincing (although the blind girl probably had even worse lines).
- Legion: while the "split face" effect is nice and you get a hint at what Legion looks like, once he escapes out of the human host, and we see him full-on, he looks dull and bland. He isn't remotely scary!
- the various "powers" of the girls: a pointless addition to the story because they really don't do much at all for the characters. They aren't used in an effective way, they don't even serve as much of a lazy "deus ex"; the goal seems to have been to copy "The Craft" but only in the most superficial and pointless way possible. Using tk powers to set up the cross to stab Pearce/Legion thru the head is fine, but it could've been all done without powers at all. Having 5 girls all with some special power happen to attend the same school didn't make sense; how could such a massive coincidence happen, or if it was somehow prearranged, then why? It couldn't have been Pearce's doing because you'd want five easy victims to sacrifice, not girls with powers who might put up a fight no matter how imbecilic they were.
I truly wanted to like this film but could not. It had a promising start and a decent end, but sadly it was the content between which just sunk the whole thing. My only advice for the writer/director next time is to spend more time on the writing and hone your skills there first. If the foundation is weak, then regardless of the talented cast or decent special effects or even gratuitous nudity (lol), the final result will disappoint.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Decent little occult thriller, modeled slightly from "The Craft", has
five unwanted girls with unique supernatural abilities who become prey
for a powerful demon, known from the Holy Bible as Legion. The
Headmistress of a recently re-opened school, Miss Pierce(Amy Cuipak
Lalonde, shown as the typical stuffy, self-righteous, strict
disciplinarian when facing the girls during the day, although it's
quite clear she's a sex bomb when away doing her other deeds
alone)seems to be your usual ruler-spatting, "follow-the-rules" leader
but is actually plotting to send the five girls under her watch to hell
in exchange for her sister who was taken against her will years back
leading to the closing of ST MARK'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS. Using witchcraft,
Legion is unleashed to take hold to each poor girl who seem powerless
to stop the demonic force. Ron Perlman is Father Drake, humbled by Miss
Pierce for he once touched his students sexually, including her, and
will have to behave his principles at the Headmistress' request.
The five girls of the film each have their own characteristics. Star heroine Alex(Jennifer Miller)is a screw-up who has the ability to move objects with thought and earns respect from the group as she takes a ruler-whipping from Miss Pierce for an act she didn't commit. That forbidden act was actually committed by tough-talking, pill-popping lesbian Mara(Jordan Madley)who secretly has a crush on Alex..her ability is to heal freshly created wounds. Cecilia(Terra Vnesa)is a witty, clairvoyant blind chick with a sense of humor regarding her condition. Leah(Barbara Mamabolo)is the token black chick with the ability to walk through certain objects. And, Connie(Tasha May)is a conduit for others to travel through. So you have these girls up against a demonic force that doesn't hurt when you attack it unless the use of religious objects comes into play. We watch as the Legion enters and exits each victim as Miss Pierce practices witchcraft calling on the return of her sister.
Some decent suspense and appealing performances, not to mention Amy Lalonde's sex appeal, even if she plays an evil, twisted headmistress willing to go to any limits necessary to return her sister to this world, are merits enough I think to check it out. It might feel a bit familiar to those who have seen these flicks with teenage girls and unusual abilities in a Catholic, sexually repressed environment revolving around witchcraft. Perlman seems uncomfortable in the role of priest to me..he doesn't seem to fit this profile very well.
Ron Perlman and Jordan Madley are pretty much the only bright spots in
this movie. The plot outline states that five girls confront Legion. It
would have been far more accurate to state that five girls are
individually stalked by Legion.
The acting was horrid, even for a B movie, and what decent acting there was in this film was obliterated by shoddy writing and talentless directing.
This receives a two star rating because of the admirable effort Ron and Jordan put in, in spite of the overall result. If you enjoy B movies, you may like this title, but if you are looking for a good supernatural thriller, this writer suggests Gothika.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
5ive Girls is the kind of movie that lets you know when a dramatic
moment is happening by having one of its characters start praying. Most
of it plays like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charmed, but
with a less clever script. If you are a fan of low budget, direct to
video thrillers, this won't matter because you already know what to
Five teen girls begin the new semester at a recently reopened Catholic School, run by a stern, icy headmistress and a weary priest. Weird things start to happen as we find out the girls have supernatural powers, while the girls begin to find out the school has a history.
The story focuses on a demon being summoned by the arrival of the five girls. It turns out the headmistress is the sister of a girl who was abducted to hell 5 years ago, and the school was reopened so she could enroll students to trade for the life of the sister. The demon gets free, of course, and jumps from body to body, killing all but one character.
The abrupt ending and the death of most of the characters were an unsatisfying resolution to what was a fairly entertaining movie. Like so many of these low-budget horror/exploitation films, we don't get a climax or ending good enough to make us care about the previous 85 minutes.
Given between the choice of recommending it or not, I would say it was worth watching once. There was a lot of silly dialog, poor acting, and amateurish effects, but it kept me interested for at least two thirds of the running time.
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