There’s a fair chance that you’ve seen Sorority Row before. Nominally a remake of 1983’s House On Sorority Row, the 2009 take on it is about as derivative a horror film as it’s possible to find (and that, friends, is genuinely saying something). Originality is sorely lacking, and the plot is a straight by the numbers template job, that blatantly takes the story of I Know What You Did Last Summer (which arguably took signifcant inspiration from House On Sorority Row itself), and throws in young women in their pants (in fact, think I Know What You Did Last Summer While Running Around In Skimpy Lingerie and that pretty much sums the film up).
It can’t, to be fair, have been the trickiest pitch meeting, especially given the fact that the budget for the film doesn’t look too high, from where I’m sitting. And I suspect that the green light didn’t take too long to be forthcoming.
Yet don’t write the film off, as it has one or two things in its corner that lift it to three-star fodder.
Firstly, as far as derivative slasher movies go, this one isn’t bad, getting the guts of the genre in place. The story sees some thuddingly unpleasant sorority girls (and I must be getting old, as I kept thinking they’d catch their death, so resistant were they to any outer garments) concocting a plan to get revenge of the boyfriend of one of them. Said boyfriend has been cheating, and, thus, the only way to level the score is to fake the death of his girlfriend. We’ve all done it. Then, they all go off to some deserted ground to dispose of the body, only for said boyfriend to then finish the job off to be on the safe side. Not that safe, though: cue the gang being picked off one at a time through some decent sequences. From there, the film has just enough gusto to see you through to the end credits.
It also, bizarrely, has Carrie Fisher. I couldn’t quite understand why Carrie Fisher was there, and she does seem to be acting in a different movie to everyone else (that’s a good thing here). But we’re not going to turn her away, and as unexpected as her cameo is, it’s also welcome.
What’s more, Sorority Row is a decent, entertaining horror flick. There’s no redefining of the genre, of course, and as long as there are young woman willing to prance about in their smalls in the name of horror stardom, there’s a long line of direct to DVD sequels to follow, I’d suspect. If that’s the case, then at least things have got off to a decent start.
The disc itself has quite a few extras, but nothing particularly substantial. The featurettes are fairly routine, the outtakes not particularly engaging, and only the option to watch all of the film’s kills in one run likely to be revisited more than once. There’s also an easter egg of rehearsals for the film’s shower scene, in case you’re blocked from getting soft core porn on the Internet for some reason.
In short, one to watch for the film, rather than the extra features package.
The Movie:The Disc:
Sorority Row is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.