HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
DETENTION (BLU-RAY)
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Joseph Kahn

Starring:
Josh Hutcherson
Shanley Caswell
Spencer Locke
Dane Cook
Brooke Haven

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
In a little town called Grizzly Lake, a copycat killer has taken up the gimmick of a slasher called CinderHella and is wiping out disposable teens one by one. Nerdy Shane and lazy Clapton have to stop things before they get worse. There's more though, I kid you not- aliens, the end of the world and bears that can jump through time periods also play a part.
Is it good movie?
Do you LOVE self-aware, wink-wink horror that considers itself "meta" (I hate that word)? Well, you'd better love it if you plan to watch Detention. It's not at all played for chills (like Scream was once), nor is it truly an homage (like the beautiful Cabin in the Woods), but instead it's a fourth wall shattering comedy that will grind on your nerves pretty quickly as it tries to show you how cool it is.

This movie is a horror-comedy with ADD that doesn't let up and slams things together with reckless abandon. It's all over the place and barely stops. Unfortunately though, it doesn't really stop to notice that it isn't particularly clever or funny and doesn't really send anything up very well. It's just not very funny and feels sort of mean ans snappy. Here's just a sample of the stuff you're going to see- you get the slasher subplot, you get a jerk kid who gets infected by a meteor that crashed to earth, a time machine that is populated with grizzlies, a body switch between Mom and daughter, and one poor individual who turned out to be locked away in detention for almost 20 years.

If nothing else, I can certainly say that director Joseph Kahn is working his ass off to try to get your attention. He is throwing everything possible in your face and does so with a wacky and kinetic visual style. There's certainly no shortage of graphics and effects, despite the movie having a low budget. It's just so scattered and awkward that it ends up falling on its face trying to show you how cool it is (and I might not be the target audience- they rip on internet critics a few times).

It is kind of cool to see Josh Hutcherson getting out of the family-friendly zone, and he and partner Shanley Caswell do a fairly decent job with what's given. Ironically enough, Dane Cook turns in a devent performance as the school principal. By "decent", of course, I mean that he doesn't ham it up like you'd expect him to. I don't care much for the guy's standup, but his low-key performances are welcome in my book.

At the end of the day, Detention is watchable without question and infused with a healthy dose of visual creativity. The downside is that it's a real headgame to get through, and I have a hard time thinking anyone over the age of 13 would watch it and think it was awesome. It's jam packed with stupid characters, endless pop culture references and silly sideplots. I guess if you love your movies to be wayyyy out there and frantic-nonstop, check into detention.
Video / Audio
The Extras
The first feature is Cheat Mode: The Unbelievably Mind-Melting Making of Detention, which is a picture in picture commentary track with most of the cast and the director jabbering on about their experiences. They're all candid, calm and collected, whic makes this an easy listen. Plus, you get photos, alternate takes and some storyboards mixed in.

There's also 2 minutes of a fight rehearsal, 5 minutes of Riffing With Dane (self-explanatory, no?) and some screen tests for a few actors.

Last Call
This is definitely a stylish film that puts forth some real effort, but I didn't connect with it. Some of you will surely love it. One thing's for sure, it's not a boring film that lacks entertainment value.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More
Waterston, Katherine