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Sorority Row

Sorority Row

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

SOME films are just so stupid they’re worth seeing for that reason alone. Sorority Row fits into that bracket perfectly.

A remake of little-seen 1983 movie The House on Sorority Row, Stewart Hendler’s update is an old-school slasher movie that pre-dates the knowing chills of Scream by opting for bog-standard stalk and slash scenarios.

It’s packed with sexy girls in various forms of undress, gory/inventive deaths and includes a Scooby Do style reveal at the end. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.

The story follows a group of bitchy sorority sisters who find their loyalty tested when a prank goes terribly wrong and ends in the murder of one of their members.

Rather than confess to the crime, the girls agree to hide the corpse and keep their secret forever.

But one year later, as they prepare to graduate, the girls find themselves stalked by a serial killer who favours the same choice of weapon that was used to account for the original victim.

Hendler’s film starts as it means to go on… hip deep in stereotypical characters, contrived scenarios and a central plot device that really stretches credibility to the max.

A party with various buxom babes introduces viewers to the fold, before the sorority girls trick a would-be boyfriend into thinking he has killed his latest squeeze.

Determined to milk the prank for all it’s worth, the girls take the ‘murderer’ and the body to an abandoned site and prepare to stage a cover-up, only for the boy in question to actually kill his victim and plunge all concerned into a nightmare scenario.

These establishing scenes, in particular, smack of desperation and fail to set up a credible scenario, while the inevitable one year later events unfolds in pretty standard fashion.

That said, Hendler’s film does exhibit a knowing sense of its own absurdity and manages to drop in some suitably gruesome deaths – despite accounting for one of the better characters a little too soon.

It also draws committed performances from its emerging female cast, with Briana Evigan coping well with the heroine duties, Leah Pipes revelling in the role of queen bitch, and Rumer Willis convincing as the gibbering wreck of the sisters.

The final-act revelations leave a lot to be desired and add to the suspicion that nothing really makes much sense, but horror junkies should have had their fix of screams and jumps by then, while being entertained with the bitchiness on show.

Enter with all this in mind and you could well have a better time than originally anticipated.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 101mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release Date: January 11, 2010