At Quality 16 and Showcase
.5 out of 5 stars
“Sorority Row” is a movie of such stunning awfulness that it has to be seen to be believed. Actually, on second thought, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to ever see this movie, unless you just want to hang your head sadly over the state of horror films today.
The story features five sorority girls who are such broad caricatures that names really aren’t necessary, as they can effectively be identified with one-word character traits — either slutty, bitchy or goody-goody. The five ladies (led by Bitchy) attempt to play a prank on an unsuspecting boy, involving faking the death of one of their fellow sisters (Audrina Partridge of TV’s “The Hills,” who is far more convincing as a corpse than a real person). After dragging out this unfunny prank for far too long, the poor sister is murdered with a tire iron and the other five girls make the world’s stupidest decision: to dump the body down a mineshaft and pretend it never happened. Have none of them seen “I Know What You Did Last Summer?” That would make them a pretty rare breed in the world of Greek life.
And wouldn’t you know it: Eight months later, there’s suddenly a serial killer stalking the girls with a heavily modified (read: covered in really sharp shit) tire iron. Rather than go straight to the police (as they should’ve done long before) the girls decide to engage in behavior that, for anyone who’s ever seen a horror movie or just existed as a human being, is downright stupid. In particular, nobody should ever wander off in the dark while asking, “Hello? Is anyone there?” That’s a sure way to get killed. The film also features not one, but two moments in which someone snaps at the other girls to stop moping about the murders and just go “back to the party!”
The sisters seem far more preoccupied with partying and drinking than the fact that they murdered a friend. With portrayals like this, it’s no wonder sorority girls get a bad rap.
The film is visually quite hard to look at, making the experience all the more painful to sit through. Each scene seems to have been shot with a weird sort of graininess, which makes no sense in an era when even the crappiest films are shot in crystal-clear HD. The poor visuals simply make it harder to care about any of the characters, seeing as the viewer can hardly tell who is who. The sisters’ boyfriends, in particular, all seem to resemble each other, making it hard to tell which collar-popped douche is getting stabbed with the tire iron.
To compete with other films of the same ilk, “Sorority Row” has to find a way to creatively kill off its main characters. Sadly, most of the time the tire iron is simply shoved into different body parts, complete with gooey sound effects. Ho-hum, been there, done that. But redeemingly, this may be the only horror film in which one of the leads is killed by a flare gun while wrestling in massive amounts of bubble bath.
Of course, the killer in this movie turns out to be both the most obvious choice and the least obvious at the same time. There are such big holes in the logic at this point that a car could be driven through them without touching the sides. But no matter: If you’re seeing “Sorority Row,” it’s clear that logic and rational thinking mean nothing to you.
The saddest part of the whole film is how it completely wastes a talent like Carrie Fisher. As the house mother, Fisher gives enough spunk and energy to make up for the rest of the cast’s lethargy. Growling “Come to mama” while wielding a shotgun, she’s begging for more screen time. Sadly, the director must have assumed (probably correctly) that the target audience would rather see skimpily clad bimbos (even though they can’t hold a candle to Fisher in a metal bikini).
It is probably for the best that films like this will be quickly made then forgotten. If only the sisters had dumped this film down the mineshaft and saved all of us the trouble.