Monday 6 September 2010

Movie Review: Sorority Row (2009)

The killer is wearing a college graduation gown, and Sorority Row is just slightly more intelligent and enjoyable than typical slasher movies.

The film earns a couple of points for introducing a mean streak of humor in its final third, and for taking the time early on to establish a relatively original context for the killing spree.

A college sorority prank goes terribly wrong and a girl lies dead, gored by a tire iron. Instead of admitting what happened, her sorority sisters throw her down a remote mine shaft and decide to keep her death a secret. Eight months later, the girls are graduating, a mystery killer is loose, and one by one, the sorority girls and some of their friends meet untimely deaths at the sharp end of a pimped-out tire iron wielded by a gowned maniac.

The cast of catty characters are given quite a bit more personality than in the typical slasher flick. The sorority girls run the range from the uber-bitch Jessica (Leah Pipes) to the ultra-fragile Ellie (Rumer Willis, daughter of Demi and Bruce), passing through the conscientious Cassidy (Briana Evigan). The dialogue between them is quick and sharp, and turns, unexpectedly, to smartly funny as the body count mounts and the film decides to take itself none too seriously. Carrie Fisher shows up as the sorority den mother, and has no small amount of fun running around with a shot-gun.

At the end of the night, a few of the girls survive the carnage, and do they ever have graduation stories to share at their reunion.

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