“There are worse ways to spend an hour and forty minutes. Unfortunately for Sorority Row, there are also better ones.”
Stewart Hendler’s Sorority Row harkens back to (better) slasher movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, and makes as much sense as either though both of those movies at least had a bit of innovation going for them, and while the snark of Sorority Row is always welcome, it’s not enough of a differentiator to elevate the movie.
Though things begin interestingly enough, when the members of Phi Theta sorority pull a particularly mean-spirited prank on the brother of one of their members that ends in a very real death.
Soon the girls are being bumped off one by one, seemingly by the person who was the victim of their prank gone awry (mostly in visually interesting, though practically impossible, ways). Sounds familiar? It should because it’s a plot device that been used every since Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, mainly because when it works, you don’t see any of the many moving parts that need to be in sync for it to work.
Which Sorority Row, for the most part, doesn’t.
The greatest problem is a common one for movies of this type, namely that the killer seems to possess abilities and capabilities that go far beyond just picking up a knife and gutting people. For instance, there’s a moment when the killer manages to somehow evade multiple shotgun blasts, which if you load one with buckshot–as the one in the movie was–is almost impossible because shot sprays everywhere, with terrific force. In other words, it’s not impossible that someone manages to evade the full force of the blast, but with so much shrapnel generated from each shot getting away unscathed is extremely unlikely.
Now, if the killer were supernatural in origin it could be forgiven, but a regular (albeit bat-shite crazy) guy? Not so much.
As I said, it’s hardly the worse movie of the type, but I would have enjoyed it much more if it were bold enough to at least acknowledge the unlikelihood of the situations the writer’s placed characters in, and not deus ex machina its way out of problems.
Which is perhaps Sorority Row‘s greatest problem: It’s pretty and well-shot–though there are odd moments of shaky cam– though it’s also pretty empty and uninspired.
Sorority Row is looking for pledges on Netflix, though be wary, because their hazing rituals are absolutely killer.