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Sorority Row is Good Fun

Published September 10, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Summit Entertainment
Sorority Row Poster Sorority Row
Sorority Row opens with a college party I would be uncomfortable attending. There are random choreographed dance crews, trampolines, “bonding” by marking up pledges with sharpees, roast toasts where people passive aggressively hate each other, all with throbbing music that just pounds on my head. I would just go home and watch a movie, maybe update my JDate profile and hope for the best.

Review: Sorority Row

Yet that is the perfect setting to f*cking kill generic pretty people who totally deserve it because they do something so irresponsible in the beginning. Not that horror movies need that much justification, but it works much better than I Know What You Did Last Summer, because it’s not trying to relate to the kids. The film knows they didn’t just make one mistake. This was a mistake following many past mistakes, to be followed by many more in the future. This is just the one they didn’t get away with.

There are really good close ups on the kills. That’ll look great on Blu Ray in gory detail. It seems to be the most original slasher movie of the year, quite a fete considering it’s a remake. The original House on Sorority Row didn’t have a tire iron, did it? I don’t know, I loved the new Friday the 13th but as a way of qualifying a positive compliment, Sorority Row invented a new world for me. The tire iron is the best murder weapon since Freddy’s glove.

Sorority queen Jessica is so nonchalant. She’s just dealing with a practical issue. That’s the problem with these entitled kids. There’s no point where they go, “Oh, this is bad. We have to stop now.” And it doesn’t count that there’s a shy nerd and a good girl framed into complicity. They all feed into that world and this is their comeuppance. It’s perfectly brutal, gory and thrilling.

Thanks for the gratuitous nudity, but no thanks really. It’s just background extras or day players who you don’t care about. Don’t pretend you’re really doing T&A. It’s like I appreciate the thought, but if you can’t get the leads to do it, don’t bother. You’re paying homage to the slasher genre but really it’s still Hollywood. We get some side boob in the gratuitous shower scene. Oh well.

It’s shot aggressively with handheld cameras and washed out, nearly colorless stock. Some shots even have white back lighting coming from un-curtained windows. The film succeeds in looking exactly like everything else, so it totally fits in with the modern cinematic world.

Sorority Row captures the worst that college, Greek life and general youth have to offer. There are plenty of other wonderful things in that world. For the record, the brothers of A-E-Pi were always nice to me even though I didn’t pledge. This is not the movie about the merits of the Greek system though. This is the bad stuff, and then worse stuff happens to the kids because of it. That’s good fun.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Summit Entertainment

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