Sorority Row

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"Please God, Don't let me get killed "

Sept 17th, 2009

I have fond memories of the original House on Sorority Row (bought on DVD for a mere quid, thank you PoundLand!), a rare find me and my friends watched frequently. That being said the original was absolute shite and for the first time I had no apprehensions about a remake.

That being said I'm not sure that this was actually a remake/reboot of the original as it has next to no ties. The plot is more of a rehash of I Know What You Did Last Summer, the title has been changed and the characters are brand new creations which makes this more of a new age slasher. When it comes to remakes I hate when they tread the same ground but this is a bit odd. The House on Sorority Row is hardly a classic and while that's the perfect film for remaking I'm sure the producers could have saved a shit load of money without paying out for the rights of the first.

After a prank goes wrong a group of sorority sisters (that's American for uni-whores) cover up the death of their friend (its brilliantly mean spirited and I don't want to ruin it here). 8 months later the girls find they are being stalked by a masked fiend (who seems to have escaped from the 90's) leaving unanswered questions, Who is the killer? Will anyone survive? And will any of them get naked? (Yes they do!)

Sorority Row is not a classic horror film but it's a fun throwback to old school slasher films. At the time of Soroity Row's release we were being plagued by a bunch of watered down films for a pre-teen horror audience (the Prom Night and April Fool's day remakes). Row earns it's 15 certificate and while it can't tangle with the likes of Evil Dead or Hellraiser the gore and violence are perfect for the horror genre. I won't list the deaths as that's really the main focus of a slasher flick but I will say all the sequences have quite a mean edge to them.

A unique aspect of the production was the choice to make us hate just about every character that finds them being stalked. In every horror franchise you can find the horror movie arsehole, the character you want to bite the big one but Sorority Row takes this one step further populating the cast with said dickheads. It's a fascinating concept that has you rooting for the killer but it really diminishes any form of tension.

Even with the lack of scares this is one of the first times when watching a slasher that I actually wanted to spend time with the cast rather than the killer. The mean girls vibe was a nice change of pace (the majority of the cast were female) and it was fun watching the one-upmanship between the characters.

Carrie Fisher is also dumped in to the action as a grumpy house mother and while it's great to see her here but her appearances in film post Star Wars seem to carry the same vibe. It's as if her character from Scream 3 was lifted and placed in a different location. Fortunately she gets to face off with our masked killer in a rather entertaining scene.

Speaking of the killer the design of the costume is rather throwaway carrying the same amount of menace as the Ghost face costume from Scream. This type of image is what you get when your slasher has a Scooby Doo vibe where the character is a human rather than a supernatural entity. It's to mask the identity of the villain and support a reveal but is does make the character a little less threatening.

A word of warning for those who intend to be surprised about the killers identity. On certain DVD covers you can actually make out a defining feature that will give you too much information to pick out the culprit.

Sorority Row is nothing original but I dug the old school vibe and enjoyed my time with the sisters. It's rare to find a good slasher and Sorority just manages that with ample gore and tit shots. It's hard to recommend running out to view this movie but I'm sure this will become great DVD fodder in years to come. 6/10

Best Kill
I won't ruin the kills here as its one of the only reasons to watch the film but I will say the girls have a strange oral fixation.

Mark Rosman, director of the original serves as executive producer.
A softer cut was produced but not released- yay
The film was released on 09/09/09 in the UK two days before the American release

Director: Stewart Hendler
Screenplay: Josh Stolberg, Pete Goldfinger
Released: 2009
Rating: 15
Starring: Audrina Partridge, Rumer Willis, Carrie Fisher

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