Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Briana Evigan, Margo Harshman, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Leah Pipes, Carrie Fisher
Directed By: Stewart Hendler
Rating: 2 out of 10
A college prank goes wrong and now the perpetrators are being stalked by a serial killer.
Iconic killers in cinematic history have to get their start somewhere. To be memorable in the horror genre you must have a thirst for killing and a signature weapon. Freddy has his finger blades, Jason has his machete, both Michael Myers and Ghostface use large knives. In this film a monk garbed killer uses a modified tire iron. I am not making that up. The killer took the time to smelt a tire iron with a blade and arrow tip on it. That should tell you two things. The first thing is this killer will not make the horror hall of fame. The second thing is this film is going to be a pile of crap. Sorority Row is the tale of 5 sorority sisters. After a prank goes fatally wrong they decide to cover it up instead of facing the music. After things settle down the 5 girls are stalked by a serial killer seemingly bent on revenge.
This film followed the how to shoot a horror movie for dummies book to a tee. Get a bunch of attractive females (and Rumer Willis). Have them scantily clad throughout the entire movie. Make the killer have the ability to be everywhere at once. Have overtly creepy supporting characters that give long, lingering, and hateful looks to add suspicion. Lastly have the killer display an Americas Got Talent ability to kill people in the strangest ways possible and voila, there is your film. The film starts off and we get to see the girls partying up in the sorority house. Naked guys and girls dance and frolic to blaring music and the drinks flow freely. The quick introduction to the girls will make one thing very clear. That is you will be rooting for the killer. The tired and vapid conversations between the five girls just grate on you. You end up hating them right from the start of this film and that never goes away. After the prank goes wrong the film settles into the standard who is the killer type of film. Is it the cranky sorority house mother? Is it one of their boyfriends? Is it a ghost? Is it one of the girls? Really it doesn’t matter because the story is so weak. In a scenario where the sorority means more than life this film never had a chance to succeed.
The acting is offensively bad. I will not go that deep into it but the girls are clearly there more for their looks than acting ability. They can carry a conversation but it is hard to listen to them converse and bicker without cringing at the dialogue. The worst of the bunch is Ellie played by Rumer Willis. She clearly went to the acting school of screaming for no reason. She screams at everything and anything in this film and it gets old quite quickly. This is not a performance she will look back fondly at.
As the killer stalks the girls they are clearly in a lot of trouble. He has the ability to transport and throw the tire iron from vast distances with pin point accuracy. He is a supernatural killer that is bent on revenge apparently. Even the sorority house is a horror cliché as it is under construction and creepy. Wrapped up furniture and hanging plastic sheets provide ample cover for the killer to pop out from. In a world where nudity, sex, drinking, and being bitches is the norm it is hard to feel compassion for these girls. The positives are the film is not slow and the body count is quite high. The blood flows freely from every appendage even if they are killed in the dumbest ways imaginable. As the film comes to its tepid conclusion it will make you hate director Wes Craven for making this genre so profitable. You will hate the story, hate the girls, and lastly hate the ending.
Director Stewart Hendler failed in every category for this film. A superficial story with superficial characters is never going to work. The film never was able to capture a moment of suspense. People bleed and die but it never fazes the viewer. Guessing the killer is fairly simple in this one and there is nothing wrong with a killer just using a knife to murder. He needed to bring it back to the basics as this film never had the right feel to it.
I cannot recommend this film as the parties might be dope to be at they are not much fun to watch.
T Factor + If you like your horror to be a standard stab fest than this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you need strong characters in your films then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Scream, Valentine.