Sorority Row movie poster
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Sorority Row movie poster

Sorority Row Movie Review

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Princess Leia, skimpily dressed college girls and serial killers, oh my! Sorority Row has everything a good slasher movie needs, and then some (Princess Leia, really?!) - except for characters we care about and a sense of terror.

In Sorority Row, several caddy sorority sisters discover that one of their boyfriends is cheating. So, the boyfriend does what any boyfriend would do to win back his girl's heart: he accepts roofies from one of her sorority sisters, slips them in her drink and starts to make out with the unconscious girl. When she starts foaming at the mouth and chocking to death, however, he freaks out. On the way to the hospital, the girl dies and the five sorority girls talk the guy into burying the body so they don't get into trouble. He reluctantly agrees, and proceeds to start chopping up the body (with a tire iron, if that's even possible). Of course, what he didn't realize was that it was all a prank to get back at him.

Unfortunately, the guy and the girls now have a real dead body on their hands - and they're all in some way responsible - so they vote to drop their friend down a mine shaft. Of course, Cassidy, the film's protagonist (played by Briana Evigan), refuses to go along with the plot; that is, until her "friends" wrap the dead body in her sorority jacket and threaten to tell police that she's solely responsible. A few months later, a cloaked serial killer who apparently knows what they did (is it their seemingly dead friend? One of the sisters? Some random stranger?) starts killing the girls off one by one with a tire iron.

Sorority Girls is, simply, a bastard child formed from a ménage à trios between Scream, Urban Legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer. The movie is set on a college campus and features a dude in a cloak running around, a la Urban Legend. The movie ends with a psychotic rant not unlike in Scream. And the entire premise is simply a rip-off of I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Sometimes bastard children should just be forgotten, though.

The movie, directed by Stewart Hendler, looks good enough: it has strong production values, and the gore is adequate. Unfortunately, that's about all that's good about Sorority Row. The biggest problem with the movie is the characters, which apparently were devised by three male writers who clearly have never interacted with college girls or been to a college party. If their screenplay is at all based on real circumstances (in regards to the characters or setting), then I clearly went to the wrong school. The movie is just full of obnoxiously bad clichés, where all the men are horny sexual predators and the women bitchy sluts. At the sorority parties, sex is going on everywhere all the time. Friends are so caddy with one another they actually hate each other. This is Hollywood's form of college at its worst.

In other words, the screenplay, by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger, based on a script by Mark Rosman, is so over-the-top in every way and form it's hard to take the movie seriously, even though the writers clearly were. The movie is nearly devoid of humor despite its unintentional goofiness, and it's hard to feel for any of the characters when they all are such bitches. Cassidy, of course, is a little better than the rest, but her character is so shallow and uninteresting that the only reason we know she is the protagonist is because she's more recognizable than the rest of the Barbie cast (Evigan starred in Step Up 2: The Streets).

Sorority Row is watchable, but there's nothing really to watch. The actresses are hot, so that's something, but even that gets old after a while. The movie isn't remotely scary as there's no sense of tension or build-up; this is a by-the-numbers slasher flick through and through. The revelation of the killer is essentially random and uninspiring.

And no, not even Carrie Fisher can save things.

Sorority Row has all the elements needed to be a good horror movie, but a terrible script and terrible execution take it in the other direction.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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