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|Index||125 reviews in total|
This film is nothing original.
But then what teenage slasher film is. And for that reason only I give this film 7 out of 10. I feel giving a movie of this style a poor review is cutting it short for the credit it should get. It is well shot, the death sequences are well put together and inventive, there are the comical moments, characters you hate and can't wait to meet there makers and the who is the murderer guessing game.
Don't get me wrong the film is not special, it's no Oscar nominee and has so many plot holes it is swiss cheese but what you do get is a fun slasher flick that won't let you down as long as you don't expect too much from it.
A group of sorority girls pull a cruel prank on the brother of one of
their brethren. They wind up taking the prank too far, and it goes
terribly awry when one of them is killed. Fearful for their futures,
they decide to dump the body down an old shaft and keep what happened a
secret. Time passes and it seems that they've gotten away with it, but
a hooded killer shows up on the night of their graduation party to pick
off those involved.
I am not the biggest remake fan. I outright skip many of them, though I'm not as vehement in my stance as I once was. In fact, a few have actually been catching my interest more and more as of late, the other most recent example being The Uninvited, a surprisingly well-done adaptation of a somewhat overrated Asian title. Then there is Sorority Row, which garnered my attention for two key reasons; A) I am an unapologetic slasher fan and B) Margo Harshman has a role in the film.
With that said, I really enjoyed Sorority Row. I did a double-bill with Whiteout, and thankfully I decided to watch this one second, as it washed away the foul taste of that nonsensical mess. For slasher fans like myself, Sorority Row had a feeling of "old school" to it. The storyline setup, the atmosphere, the wild sorority parties... it felt like old times. Old times that were witnessed via 80's slashers, of course. Some pretty inventive kills in here too, just like in the glory days of the slasher film. No repetitive Scream or IKWYDLS type kills. And really, if you're a slasher fan, the kills are half of the fun. I also have to say that I enjoyed the dialogue in this film. It was always spot-on with the wit, always funny in a dark humor sorta' way. I actually had the opposite reaction to the characters, as the girl playing Cassidy annoyed me. Her voice just grated on my nerves for some reason. The queen bitch was a joy to watch. I thought she was thoroughly amusing. As for Margo, she was stuck with the thankless role of the group slut, but she brought her own brand of deadpan humor to the part. Her lacking amount of screen time was my biggest disappointment with this movie.
All of that aside, the killer's reveal was also disappointing. The motivation just wasn't resonating with me, and some of the theatrics seemed too in line with the lame Scream brand of villains. Still, the rest of the film was so much fun, I can't help but recommend this to other slasher fans. If you like this kind of film, give it a chance. If you don't, well, I doubt you'd be reading this far anyway. It's a slasher film, plain and simple, and one I'd give the ol' slash of approval.
When a prank goes awry, a group of sorority sisters are left with a
dead body on their hands. They cover up the accidental murder, but on
graduation night someone begins to brutally kill everyone involved in
the deadly prank.
Admittedly I went into Sorority Row with low expectations because I've always had a soft spot for the original House on Sorority Row (1983) and I feared that this would be another weak insulting remake, i.e. Black Christmas 2006 or Prom Night 2008. However I found myself rather entertained by this polished and energetic remake, it was an engaging ride all the way. Sorority Row has a typical slasher film setup, some hokey dialog, and the usual MTV-style direction, but it manages to build some good suspense and action throughout its interesting plot. Also it has some effectively funny moments of dark humor. In addition there's some flashes of nudity thrown in along with some inventive and bloody murder scenes.
Cast-wise the actors are adequate enough though their characters are typically paper-thin. The biggest standout is definitely Carrie Fisher as the amusingly tough housemother Mrs. Crenshaw. She deserved more screen time.
Over all Sorority Row is a fun slasher guilty pleasure that thankfully doesn't tarnish the memory of a horror classic. It's a worth-wild watch for horror fans, especially if you don't take it too seriously.
** 1/2 out of ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure whether I heard about this film during the time of its release or not, but I saw clips of it, and I do like to try the occasional scary movie with a distinctive title. Basically sorority sister Megan Blaire (Audrina Patridge) has found out that her boyfriend Garrett Bradley (Matt O'Leary) had cheated on her, and with the help of her sorority friends Cassidy Tappan (Briana Evigan), Jessica Pierson (Leah Pipes), Ellie Morris (Rumer Willis, daughter of Bruce and Demi Moore), Claire Wen (Jamie Chung) and Charlene 'Chugs' Bradley (Margo Harshman) help her get revenge. The plan is for Megan to fake her death by pretending to overdose on pills, they will dump her body in the lake, and she will eventually come back and freak him out, but when they get to a steel mill this goes horribly wrong when Garrett stabs his girlfriend and she dies for real. The sorority sisters and he have no choice, because they cannot face telling anyone, including the police, but to dump her body in a near deep shaft so that no-one can find the body. Eight months have passed, and the sisters have grown further apart in their friendship, but they may be forced to come back together when one gets a strange message from someone that knows what they did, with a picture of the tire iron Garrett stabbed Megan with. This all comes during the time of graduation, and one by one the sorority girls find out the horrific intent of this stranger sending the message, each girl is murdered by someone in a hooded cloak. One of the five girls is bumped off, leaving four to question who the killer may be, they are sure it is Megan come back from the dead, but they conclude it is not after finding her corpse in the shaft. They have their suspicions, and their house mother Mrs. Crenshaw (Carrie Fisher) is determined to stop whoever it is despite finding out about the horrific accident at the start of the nightmare, and eventually it is revealed to be Andy Richards (Julian Morris), Cassidy's boyfriend. The reason is that he wanted the perfect relationship with her, but there were too many people that knew about her involvement in Megan's death, so he killed everyone that he was sure knew about it, no matter who that was. In the end he gets what he deserved after Cassidy knew how crazy he was, fifteen months pass and Cassidy, Maggie and Ellie are the sorority girls left, everything seems to be back to normal, but that is questionable when see a person with scarred wrists, like Garrett did. Also starring Matt Lanter as Kyle. The cast of young beautiful actresses are only really good for their looks, Fisher does make a feisty house mother, this film is pretty much Prom Night meets I Know What You Did Last Summer, a sort of remake, so with that in mind it is not really that original or scary at all, a slightly terrible horror thriller. Adequate!
Sorority Row seems to be receiving a lot of bad press for the same
reasons that all slasher flicks seem to garner - it's clichéd, the
characters aren't likable, the plot isn't handled well, the set-up is
botched, blah blah blah. OK, these ARE fair points - there exists
within this movie one too many "Hello, is anybody there?" moments, too
many "Don't go in there!" moments, and let's be honest, they could have
quite happily pinned the entire thing on someone else and gone to
police instead of covering it up.
However, to complain about those things would be to complain about the entire purpose of the slasher genre. Besides Scream, Hallowe'en and Black Christmas, there is not a single slasher that has a shred of believability (and even Hallowe'en doesn't - Michael Myers is the boogie man for goodness sake!). We go to see slasher films to watch people get killed and don't pretend otherwise. These situations do not happen in real life, why expect any level of realism in the film?!?
So why bother going to see this? Primarily, for the kills. Out of the 10 or so murders, I'd say but only 3 are gratuitous and 2 of those are badly set up. Again, it's the same old story of bimbo/drunk frat boy wandering where they should know not to. But for the 7 or so others, they rock! The manslaughter at the beginning is pretty twisted, yet I, and many others got satisfaction watching one of those twits from The Hills getting offed and thrown down a mine shaft. Following on, a "pimped up" tyre iron is implemented to cause as much gore and depravity as possible: bottles, mirror shards, cars, flare guns, axes, fire-extinguishers, shotguns and the bird cane from the original all are used at some point to bring the death count to a total Rambo would be proud of. One of my favourite set-ups in the movie comes after the party, when they are aware that somehow, someone knows about their little secret. In an intense scene involving many bubbles - because in the World of the Greek Letters, you are more likely to find a jacuzzi than a room full of mannequins - one of the 5 get caught out in it. The build up ranks with that of Annie in Halloween or CC in Scream 2 - after the girls receive another threatening text, they realise that one of their names was missing from the list and before they know it, the missing girl is running, screaming through the courtyard towards them. Although the scares are few and far between, that scene had me ducking. The murder weapon, that tyre iron, is set to become iconic if it garners any sequels (which, undoubtedly it will).
The main characters may not be the most interesting, and two of the girls really are just plain boring, but there are 3 who stand out in my mind: Jessica, Cassie and Ellie. Jessica, the bitchy queen, is played with fervour by Leah Pipes: she relishes every mean phrase, never misses a chance to put someone down, and when she stumbles across the dead body of a sorority sister, her first remark is "God, she looks terrible!" delivered with a dead pan attitude that just rocked. The fact that, unfortunately, she is governed by a bloke is a shame, but she redeems herself towards the end, staying true to her bitchy, selfish nature. Ellie, although a walking cliché in a horror movie, is played really rather well by Rumer Willis. A girl falling apart at the seams as she tries to cope with her part in the accident, she goes from slightly shaky to worried to paranoid to hysterical to catatonic. Yet she maintains some integrity and humour and has quite possibly the funniest moment during which the girls are trying to stop her from finding out that Megan just might not be dead. Finally, Briana Evigans is such fun to watch. Although her character has no right to feel better about herself over what happened and she certainly is no Sydney Prescott or Laurie Strode, Briana brings out of Cassie a feisty, tough girl who can actually be rooted for towards the end. The other 2 VERY good reasons to watch this movie are as follows: gratuitous cat fights (in a burning house with a psycho killer running around none-the-less!) and Carrie Fisher blowing her kitchen to smithereens with a shot gun, all the while taunting the masked killer with lines such as "Come to Mama."
All in all, Sorority Row is not a good film but it is sheer entertainment. What it lacks in plot and credibility it more than makes up for in style. it's also the first remake that I've had pleasure watching due to it's total carelessness of where it's origins lie. I'd give it 6 out of 10. (yes I am aware I've awarded it 10 out of 10 but that's because I feel bad that morons would mark it so harsh on its lack of plot... seriously)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sorority Row starts late one night at a party at the Theta Phi sorority
house on Ransom University, five of the top sorority girl's play a
prank on a boy named Garrett (Matt O'Leary) the cheating boyfriend of
Megan (Audrina Patridge) who lets him think that they are going to have
sex together. The other four girl's have given Garrett a pill to give
to Megan, although harmless Megan plays dead & Garrett panics. Garrett
& the other girls decide to take Megan to hospital but they end up at a
disused quarry when they claim Megan is dead. They continue to play the
joke on Garrett & agree to dispose of the body after cutting it up,
however the prank backfires when Garrett stabs Megan in the chest
killing her for real. Garrett & the other four sorority girls decide to
throw Megan's body down an old well & make a pact not to tell anyone
else for fear of going to jail but eight months later the girls are all
sent texts referring to Megans death as a hooded figure starts to kill
the girls one by one...
Directed by Stuart Hendler this is a remake of the early 80's teen slasher The House on Sorority Row (1983) which I have seen but cannot remember anything about other than someone gets a walking stuck in their throat but I still think it's probably safe to say that it couldn't be any worse then this lifeless & dull offering. A lot of classic independent horror films have been remade in the past few years by Hollywood but I am struggling to see the attraction in remaking a fairly obscure slasher film such as The House on Sorority Row, however someone though it was a good idea & what we are left with is a forgettable a teen slasher with no great redeeming features apart from one or two decent kill scenes. The story doesn't quite work, even if Megan & the other girls could convince Garrett that she was dead why was there no investigation into her disappearance? Surely someone else at the party saw Meagn & the other's? Wouldn't the police have investigated? The character's are very unlikable, spoilt rich brats, wimpy worriers & selfish stuck-up girls who really are impossible to like & that in turn makes it impossible to side or emphasise with anyone. When the killer is finally revealed & their motives exposed it's all rather silly & while they were a brilliant silent killer once they are revealed they become a noisy idiot all of a sudden. The killer's identity also leads to the double twist ending in which someone is is earlier thought to have been the killer so why do they start attacking people? Why did they behave in the way that they did? It never made any sense to me. At almost 100 minutes long Sorority Row drags at times, it's fairly repetitive & never really excites or interests beyond how the next victim is going to die & how much padding we are going to have to sit through to find out. All the standard teen slasher clichés are here, silly false scares, lots of walking around dark places, shower scenes, a murder at regular intervals & a twist ending that you will probably forget within a day or two. I can't say I liked it that much.
Sorority Row looks nice enough, director Hendler fails to create much tension or many scares but it's reasonably well made with a certain slickness about it. The kills are alright, my favourite was when the girl gets her whiskey bottle rammed down her throat. The rest of the kills all involve a rather awkward look tyre iron with blades on each side, it's a silly murder weapon actually. There's a fair amount of nudity here if that's your thing. Originally set to be PG the distributors decided to go with an R rating, not that it's that graphic anyway but the extra bit of blood & gore does help.
With a supposed budget of about $16,000,000 this was filmed in Pennsylvania, the production values are good but the acting got on my nerves with every character's quite unlikable.
Sorority Row feels like I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) only with more girls & nowhere near as good, this is standard clichéd teen slasher with little to recommend it. Unoriginal, tired & bland.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's nothing particularly wrong with Sorority Row, what it does, it
does well enough, but you've seen this movie before.
Like Avatar is to Dances with Wolves, Sorority Row is to I Know What You Did Last Summer, and considering the latter movie wasn't all that long ago, the former really would have been better off waiting a while longer before it was made.
I suppose one area the movie has to be credited for, and thats all the lead girls bare virtually no flesh whatsoever, which is a change for this type of movie, not sure I fully welcome that direction, some of the girls are quite delectable! Acting is all fine, some of the soundtrack choices are quite good, and the direction seems fine, apart from the final reveal of who the killer is, its all a bit lacking in the build up department, it just kind of happens.
Some of the death scenes are done quite well, a couple of quite brutal kills. The character by Leah Pipes is a suitably nice bitch character and some of the lines she comes out with are pretty funny.
The problem as i've said is its simply far too samey with I Know What You Did Last Summer, and no amount of pretty girls is going to change anyones perceptions of it.
Its worth a rental, but I couldn't foresee any reason to own it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Garrett cheats on girlfriend Megan, her sorority sisters decide to
pay him back by pretending that she is dead, to the extent that they
take the "body" off to a remote site to dispose of it. When Megan
accidentally moves, the spooked Garrett reacts by driving a tire iron
into her chest, leaving the sisters with the problem of what to do with
the body. Cassidy wants to report it to the authorities, but alpha
uber-bitch Jessica browbeats the others into dumping Megan's body (and
the tire iron) down a mineshaft. At the graduation party eight months
later, the girls are texted a photo of a hand grasping a tire iron. As
they begin to die one by one, the question is whether Megan has come
back from the dead, or is there another explanation? Sorority Row is a
perfectly serviceable slasher movie, fuelled by a) who gets it next
(and how), and b) who is doing it. If this is the sort of movie you
enjoy, then you'll enjoy this one.
There was an aspect I particularly liked, and that was the look of the movie - it is beautifully photographed - points awarded for cinematography, because it is filmed with much greater care than is usually the case for this sort of movie.
Two elements which pleased me less, though. One is the answer to who is doing it. This struck me as the least probable possibility, with a motive which is less than credible.
The other - and please read no further if you don't like spoilers, because this is a biggie - is the last five minutes. The climax is proceeding very nicely, and all looks lost, when help comes from an unexpected quarter. This turns out to be Ellie, played by Rumer Willis. Now Ellie has spent pretty much the entire movie as a snivelling, whimpering, hysterical mess yet, in this final few minutes, she becomes a Rambo-lite lean, mean killing machine (because she'd do anything for her sisters, you understand), in one of the biggest and least believable character switches in the memory of this particular moviegoer.
Oh no, a guy is cheating on one of the Theta Pi sisters! Good for them
they have a prank lined up for some prime revenge. Too bad said prank
ends with one of them dead. To make things worse, a hooded slasher is
after them after graduation.
Last year, we got a remake of "Prom Night" that ended up being one of the worst horror remakes of the decade, and committed a cardinal sin-a PG-13 slasher movie. Well, look at "Sorority Row" (a remake of the 1983 slasher flick "The House on Sorority Row") as the movie the "Prom Night" remake should have been-the anti-"Prom Night" remake if you will. It's not a classic, but nobodies expecting that now, are they?
So, what works?
For one thing, while not a splatter flick, there are some impressive kills available, as well as a sweet murder weapon that has potential to become iconic. Also, the performances are fun. Carrie Fisher is a hoot to watch (her role is a bit too minuscule though) and unlike say "I Know What You Did Last Summer", this movie makes no bones about the fact that most of these characters are unlikable and deserve their fates. The best surprise as far as acting is concerned is Leah Pipes as the bitchy leader of the sorority sisters Jessica. She's a blast to watch, and plays the part without overacting or overdoing her character. In short, she steals the show as far as I'm concerned. The movie does have it's flaws-it's a bit too flashy at moments, at times could have done a little more with it's R-rating (there's nudity, but none of the lead girls gets naked? For shame!) and the final ten minutes could have definitely used some work.
Nags aside, "Sorority Row" is a fun guilty pleasure. Sure, it's more catered towards a teen audience than hardcore horror fans, but come on, most slasher flicks have been catered to a teen audience. Besides, in an age of pointless PG-13 horror, 3D gimmicks, unnecessary sequels like "Halloween II" and "The Final Destination", horror flicks that try to hard to be hardcore, and horror flicks that try too hard to cater to horror fans (I'm a hardcore horror fan, but occasionally that can get annoying), a piece of unapologetic slasher fluff goes down easy.
Plus, any movie that opens with girls in PJ's with their asses exposed jumping up and down can't be all bad.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Typical modern horror film, a remake of Mark Rosmans' 1983 slasher "The
House on Sorority Row". A group of hard partying hottie college
students pull a prank on an unfaithful boyfriend, only for it to
backfire and result in the death of one of their fellow sorority
sisters. The girls cover up the crime, vowing never to mention it
again. However, you can guarantee that some character is going to have
a long memory and be determined to punish the guilty.
Patently predictable 21st century slasher, with characters about whom you just do not care. The actresses may all be very pleasing to look at, but give rather inauspicious performances here. The original Rosman movie isn't anything great, but at least there was some attempt made at atmosphere. The revised story doesn't offer anything interesting, preferring to basically tread familiar ground. There's a modest amount of very digital gore, and a mildly amusing weapon for our killer to wield: a pimped-out tire iron. We've got a standard "hip" soundtrack and dialogue, as well as updating to the current era in terms of technology. We have one recognizable veteran on hand, in the form of Carrie Fisher, who's decent and who gets to be something of a bad ass.
At least, there's some novelty value in the presence of a few second generation performers: Fisher (daughter of Debbie Reynolds), Briana Evigan (daughter of Greg Evigan), Rumer Willis (daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore), Robert Belushi (son of James Belushi). But the movie remains no more than passably engrossing. Even as it works its way through the assortment of possible suspects, it does not, in the end, deliver any surprises.
Plus, it's aggravating to see how so many of these current horror films seemingly HAVE to end a certain way.
Five out of 10.
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