Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Brian C. Weed
What's it about
Annie had a rough time at her homecoming dance. Turns out her boyfriend Billy was totally a raper, which threw a real wrench in the evening. Luckily, she had great friends who came to her rescue and managed to lock the dude away in a closet..which caught fire and caused the guy to burn to a crisp. Here we are three years later as the crew gets ready for their senior homecoming dance. They all get nasty letters jammed in their lockers from someone (or someTHING) which indicate they're in some trouble. Someone in a fireman's outfit starts offing them one by one.
Is it good movie?
First of all, let me start out by helpfully pointing out that this is a
straight up slasher flick (if the title didn't give it away, I'll
delineate). If you're into that sort of thing, read on.
I took one look at this film's cover and immediately thought it looked
like a bad take on an awesome film, The
Loved Ones. Instead..what i got was actually a well put together
slasher movie that kept me happily entertained and didn't make me beat
my hand against my forehead with "come on" moments!
This one actually does a lot right, and I'll start with the characters.
It's so refreshing to have some characters who aren't straight up lame
or too old (which is a big no-no). Yes, there are stereotypes (the
football player, the goth girl, the cheerleader, etc- but at least
they're played with gusto. In fact, some of the dialogue is actually
funny and infused with wit (yes, some of the acting's wooden and falls
flat..but this isn't predominant). This one feels like an 80s slasher
done justice, with plenty of cliches and neat moments (there are a few
well-done chase scenes to enjoy, some good one liners too).
Anyhow, this is a game of Red Herrings, where you're trying to figure
out whodunnit (was it the scorned ex girlfriend? the perverted
principal? the overprotective sheriff father? the jealous teacher? the
gross old coach?). As for who it actually turns out to be- I won't
spoil it. As a bit of negative criticism, I'll admit that this one does
throw a lot of possibilities at the viewer, but the film can get
weighed down by all of them as they're not fully developed and the
whole thing tends to lose a bit of focus.
This isn't high cinema here folks, it's a slasher movie with some
pretty decent kills (the killer uses a sharpened spirit baton!), some
cute one-liners, fairly likeable characters and a fun setting. If you
loved stuff like Slaughter High or
Cheerleader Camp back in the
day, you'll have a decent time here. If you're not looking for a silly
slasher, this is definitely not going to change your mind.
Video / Audio
Video: Presented in 1.78.1widescreen, this low budget
feature looks fairly good, though colors tend to sometimes be muted.
Nothing super special, looks fine though.
Audio: Dolby 5.1 is our aural presentation
and things are mixed fairly well, though the surround work isn't
Much like me on prom night, this DVD gets zero action in the extras department.
This is a straight-up silly slasher that certainly came off better than I expected. It doesn't break new ground, won't win over people who hate this kind of movie, and isn't big budget or super-gory. However, it was clearly made with some heart, has some likeable characters and certainly tries to keep you guessing. The DVD isn't anything to write home about though, so I'd stick to the bargain bin or a streaming rental.