Directed by: Stewart Hendler
Premise: A remake of The House on Sorority Row from 1983. When a prank goes bad and kills a college student, her sorority sisters hide her body. At the end of the school year a mysterious killer begins to assassinate everyone involved.
What Works: There is an entire niche of slasher films that involve killers and sorority girls. The better of the these films, like Slumber Party Massacre, play on the clichéd scenarios and tease the audience with the ridiculousness of the situation. Some scenes of Sorority Row clearly have this in mind and the film plays best when it goes for satire.
What Doesn’t: Sorority Row does not fully embrace its satirical or ironic elements and the film ends up being an incredibly stupid mishmash of slasher film clichés with moments of misplaced humor. Jokes can work in horror films if they relieve tension to set up a scare or add to the psychotic tone of the story. Sorority Row does neither and the humor is awkwardly placed and makes the audience laugh at the film instead of with it. As a horror film, Sorority Row is a disaster; the film is not scary at all, nor does it deliver on the gore that fans of the genre might enjoy. The action and sequences are incompetently staged and shot and the finale is completely unbelievable. There is no one here to empathize with; all the characters, male and female, are obnoxious and unmemorable and the film slips into a lot of misogynistic traps, portraying the sorority house like it’s the Playboy mansion. The mystery surrounding the killer is mishandled and even if audience members still care by the end of the film, the revelation in the climax is stupid and muddled.
Bottom Line: Sorority Row is easily one of the worst slasher remakes to hit theaters. It’s not at all enjoyable, even as a guilty pleasure.
Episode: #256 (September 20, 2009)