Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Theta Pi Must Die: Sorority Row (2009)

Sorority Row (2009)
starring: Briana Evigan, Rumer Willis and Carrie Fisher

Now, let see here: a hooded killer stalks teen girls a year or so after a bad prank killed one of their friends. Huh, doesn't sound pretty groundbreaking to me. In fact, if I have a dollar for every film I know that did this plot, I'll be... well, I probably have $36 in cash...plus a few pennies...

Awkward joke, MOVING ON!

As much as I could tell, Sorority Row is a "remake" of one of the most recognized cult slashers out there, House on Sorority Row. But, pretty much like any known "remakes" out there, it holds to the title very loose and is probably more on the verge on being a movie on its own rather than a flick with connections to the 80s hack and slash original. And you guys can probably tell that, being a remake of a cult fave, it had sparked some disputes with the original's fans as well as those who're just getting tired of the cliches from both remakes and teen horrors, hence this film's mixed acceptance in today's horror society. But can this film at least be worth the watch? Let's see:

Getting back on a cheating boyfriend, the girls of Theta Pi pulls a prank on him where a sorority sister fakes her own O.D. based death while making out with him. While still in the light of the prank, they brought her to an abandoned steel mill, intent on "dumping" her body in the lake with one of them jokingly mentions that the body will float due to some air in the lungs. Taking the prank for real, the confused boyfriend grabbed a tire iron and punctured her chest, killing her for real. Now guilty of association with an accidental man slaughter, the group decides to dump the body into the mines, along with the tire iron, and vowed never to speak of it again.

A few months later, most of the girls are back on their feet. Unfortunately, the events from that fateful night starts to catch up with them while they plan their graduation party as each girls receives a picture message of someone in their graduation robe holding a bloody tire iron. Though they try dismissing it as a (bad) prank, the girls find themselves stalked by a hooded figure with a "pimped" tire iron-turned-bladed weapon; one by one, they, along with anybody that gets in the way, gets killed off with a cryptic message for all them: Theta Pi must Die!

In a nutshell, it's I Know What You Did Last Summer done on campus with very little similarities with its 1983 grand daddy, save some "hints" such as the "Sea pig" line, the shower stall kill, the basement stalking and, of course, the trusted Cane of doom from the original in a cameo. Other than that, it's a mindset of entirely alternate proportions as everything in it is more aimed for the MTV generation, self-awareness, and the good old fashioned pop culture references, which, as overused as it is, came of as pretty witty for me in this flick.

For some reason, I'm actually pretty entertained by this one; no teen drama to ruin anything, the dialogue between each characters is really engaging, the mystery around the killer's identity was good, really inventive kills and murder weapon, and let's not forget my first fave "bitch" ever, Leah Pipes as Jessica, whose continuous side comments was more funny than annoying.

Now, comparing this with drecks like (choke*) Prom Night remake and (chokes even more*) April Fools Day remake, I have to draw the friggin line on the sand here, this is titanium compared to those messes! (How can you mess up Prom Night is beyond my understanding. I mean really, stalk-chase-kill. How hard is that?) It could be from the fact that the film is an entire opposite of the first, whereas the original Sorority Row experimented on direction, pacing and atmosphere and succeed on it, Sorority Row 09 went for a more slick and party house-feel atmosphere, while still keeping the pacing, direction, and bloodier kills thanks to a creatively pimped tire iron with a hunting knife, a harpoon, a head spade and a spearhead for heads. (I never seen any weapon like that since Freddy's ginsu gloves. Kudos!)

Now, as for the cons, I can't cover up the fact that it's a teen horror and that it's guilty of its own shortcoming commonly found in such flicks. While the mystery on the identity of the killer was really engaging around the first half, by the time the reveals start to draw its way, I just can't help but tilt my head like a confused puppy to where the heck did the reveal even came from? Its a tad too convenient, even with their own merits in an attempt to tie-in each murder with the reveal, but uh, yeah, how exactly did the killer pulled it all off? Of course, there's the fact that it holds no torch near the cult fave and it failed to bring as much dread and stylish photography House 83' have, but it does deserve, nevertheless, some credits for at least not boring us like what the two unmentionables did. (You know who. Bringing shame to cult classics, shame on them! I piss!)

Completely misunderstood and ultimately underrated, Sorority Row is the diamond in the rough among this generation's loads of overdone remakes, or "re-imaginings", one kind of flick that you should definitely give a try and best remembered as not a tie-in to something far, far greater. The original is gold, while this is silver, two separate titles on their own footings. Nuf said.

1 female gets a tire iron to the chest
1 male gets a bladed tire iron thrown to the head
1 female gets a wine bottle shoved down her throat, bladed tire iron to the neck
1 female had a bladed tire iron stabbed through underneath her chin
1 male pinned to the air vent via bladed tire iron to the neck
1 female  shot on the mouth with a flare gun
1 female impaled on bladed tire iron
1 male axed on the back of the head
1 female gets a bladed tire iron to the mouth
1 male shot on the chest with shotgun, burned to death inside a burning house
total: 10


  1. You know, when you hold it up against those other remakes, this one does come off looking better! You're a wise man, Mr. K!

    1. I ain't wise. Just pissed at those flick, is all!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it - I love it! Of course, it has not much to do with the original, but fortunately it's lightyears better than slasher re-crap like April April or Prom Night.
    Thumbs up, Herman!