Movie Review – Sorority Row [remake] (2009)

It doesn’t take a great stretch of the mind to anticipate what a slasher movie entitled Sorority Row will offer. Cute girls? Check. Bare breasts? Check. College parties? Double-check. Oral fixations? Quadruple-check. Said cute girls being taken out one-by-one? You get the idea. This is an unoriginal (it is a remake, after all) and formulaic entry into the slasher genre that will largely be forgotten in the years to come (if it hasn’t been already).

However, while this usually works to the detriment of a horror film, it becomes a rather endearing quality here. This loose remake, directed by Stewart Hendler, of the 1983’s The House on Sorority Row has no delusions about what it is and what it plans to offer. The script is fast-paced, the kills are entertaining and bloody without being gratuitously excessive, and the dialogue offers jokes based on well-rounded character interaction. The capable cast certainly helps in this regard. There is no pretension here; the movie practically begs its viewer to relax, enjoy, and to not read too much into what is going on. If one can do this, even a discerning horror fan like me can enjoy the film.

Had other aspects of the film been better, this could have been more memorable. Much of the movie’s appeal rides on the satisfaction of seeing snobby, shallow individuals being disposed of with extreme prejudice. That’s a start. The killer, unfortunately, is a bland figure stalking his/her prey cloaked in a graduation gown. The weapon of choice is a tire-iron which, in the words of one of the catty characters, has been “pimped-out,” though it could be more accurately described as impractical. The film-makers seemed conscious of all other aspects of exploitation slasher films except for what is perhaps the most important element – the creation of a visceral killer that will stay engrained in the audience’s minds for years to come. In slasher films it’s the killer’s show, after all.

Grade: C

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