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Movie Review: Sorority Row

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Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written Sept. 12, 2009

I don't know what exactly director Stewart Hendler was aiming for, but I have to give him a little credit for trying to make a stylish movie with Sorority Row.  As usual, style manages to win out over substance and the final product is just another dumb experience at the movies.  That's okay when you want to check your brain at the door for escapism entertainment, but how can one be entertained by a film involving the dumb antics of some rather unlikable people?  It's not even Halloween yet, and Sorority Row keeps the ball rolling that director Rob Zombie threw onto the court two weeks ago with another slasher film. Though the picture is a remake of the 1983 feature, House on Sorority Row it feels like Hendler and screenwriter Josh Stolberg took pages from the scripts for Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legends, shook them up in a bag and handed them out on set saying "this is what we're shooting today."  There's nothing wrong with a bit of the familiar, but you can't help feeling your intelligence has been insulted and your wallet ripped off.

Hendler and Stolberg claim they based the social hierarchy of the heroines of their story on the characters in the High School comedy Mean Girls, though there's nothing really heroic about the ladies of Theta Pi. We've got the two skanky girls (Margo Harshman and Jaime Chung) and the two nice girls (Demi Moore look-a-like Briana Evigan and Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis). Then there's “Queen Bee” Leah Pipes, the bitchiest of the bunch who rules their sorority with an iron fist and is obsessed with words like “sisterhood” and “solidarity”. She takes that obsession to the extreme when their group get involved in the accidental death of one of their members, The Hills star Audrina Patridge. Patridge and Co. want a little payback on her boyfriend (Matt O'Leary) for cheating so they come up with the stupid idea of convincing him he's given her a fatal overdose of ruffies. They go to great lengths to drive to an abandoned well just outside of town for disposal of the body while the poor guy is freaking out the whole trip. When one of them playfully suggests that the body may float to the surface due to air in the lungs, the dude guarantees that won't happen by ramming a tire iron through Patridge's chest cavity. Whoops! Sorry girls, looks like your little prank just ended in the death of one of your best friends.

Convinced their lives will be destroyed by this tragedy, Pipes has them all agree that… hold on, this is a review, not the actual film in verbal form. I know I can unleash spoilers from time to time, but not in the mood this time. Go watch the film if interested.

All I’ll say is as any typical horror flick, the cast gets whittled down to just a lucky few and we discover just who the killer is and why they're doing this even though we don't really care. There’s barely a story which makes it boring, the kills are unimaginative and the performances feel non-existent even though these naked girls and their enhanced body parts are easy on the eyes. I’ll give it that much. Even suspense goes out the window as in one scene where the killer decides to hide within that mountain of soap bubbles by the pool.  The only sparks of life in the film are Pipes and shotgun wielding house mother Carrie Fisher, whose days as Princess Leia are clearly over because she looks more like the Emperor now. Pipes is the only actress who appears to know what movie she's in even though it’s a bad one. She takes bitchy to such an extreme that even though it’s so easy to hate her, you hope she sticks around for a while because her musings are so funny. That's another element missing from this film: humor. We can often find a laugh or two in a slasher film where the kills are unique, but when the story involves a robed killer stalking dumb co-eds in a burning house you feel stupid yourself for watching it.

Not only is it another stupid remake, but another waste of time at the flicks.



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