Sorority Row (2009): United States – directed by Stewart Hendler
Rated R by the MPAA – contains violence, blood, swearing, unpleasant sorority girls, nudity, stupidity
Hmm… Not sure exactly where to start with this one. You’ve seen it before. I’ve seen it before. Just about anyone who has seen a horror film has seen it before. In fact, if you were around in the early 1980’s you might have seen the original film, The House on Sorority Row.
Not that it’s always bad to remake films. It’s just that when you do it this poorly it feels like an even bigger waste of time.
Our story starts during a sorority party. A group of sorority sisters are playing a prank on an ex-boyfriend who cheated on one of them. This prank is far too complicated to detail here, so suffice it to say that it involves scaring the boy to death. Because this is a horror movie, one of the girls actually ends up dead and the rest of them swear to hide the body and keep it a secret forever.
Forever isn’t a very long time, though, because eight months later at their graduation party they find that someone does know what happened and is coming back to kill them. The theories range from the dead girl herself to her sister, who doesn’t know the truth, to the boy they set up in the first place. They are all wrong, of course, but the revelation of the actual killer is even more dull than the theories.
For the first three quarters of the movie I felt like this was one of the rare films that had absolutely nothing positive to offer. It felt like one of only three or four films I’ve seen where I thought that I would have been better off not having seen this. Fortunately, during the last half hour or so I was able to enjoy the campiness slightly. That doesn’t mean the film isn’t poorly made. While some of the acting is passable, much of the dialogue is rather stupid. It was shot with nice cameras, so it looks shiny and glossy, but that can’t help the poor directing. There were two shots in the film that I appreciated, one of them being the above screenshot.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “Well, yeah, I know it’s not a good movie, but does it deliver what a horror movie should?” And it does, to a certain extent. There is blood and gore and some nudity, which comes in the middle (very odd for a horror film, since they usually put all their naked bodies in the first ten minutes so people keep watching.) It probably had more nudity than most modern horror films, so if that’s what you’re interested in you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for gore you might not leave the film quite as happy. A fair number of people die but some of the deaths become quite repetitive (seriously, why would you kill at least three characters through the mouth?). In fact, most of the deaths were quite boring. The other problem is that the movie is so long there is no way they could evenly space out the exciting parts. That leaves the film with a huge chunk in the middle where nothing happens, other than sorority girls bickering at one another.
I did not enjoy the film. It’s badly made and offers nothing even remotely original or interesting. However, if you’re looking for another horror movie that displays young women running around half-clothed while being sliced and diced, this one might satisfy you.