Sorority Row
dir Stewart Hendler
scr Josh Stolberg, Peter Goldfinger
prd Darrin Holender, Mike Karz
with Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Carrie Fisher, Julian Morris, Matt O'Leary, Matt Lanter, Caroline D'Amore, Maxx Hennard, Audrina Patridge
release UK 9.Sep.09, US 11.Sep.09
09/US Summit 1h41
Sorority Row
I know what you did: Pipes, Chung, Evigan and Willis

evigan willis fisher
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Sorority Row A remake of the 1983 schlock horror The House on Sorority Row, this film is too bland to catch our imagination. There are plenty of cheap thrills, plus some camp excess to keep us laughing, but it's never scary.

Five sorority sisters get themselves into trouble when a practical joke goes violently wrong. Pushy leader Jessica (Pipes) wants to cover up the crime, and Claire and Chugs (Chung and Harshman) agree. But Cassidy (Evigan) wants to come clean, and Ellie (Willis) can't cope with the guilt. Eight months later it comes back to haunt them, when the girl (Patridge) they thought was dead seems to return with a vengeance on the night of their year-end party.

Actually, all of the action centres around blow-out parties, because it allows the filmmakers to fill the screen with under-clad girls getting drunk and taunting dumb musclehead boys. All the better to distract the audience from the contrived plot and idiotic events. The film is shot in that anonymous Hollywood style that looks like anyone could have made it. And none of the characters has a personality either; each is a single trait played to the hilt by an up-for-it cast.

At least they seem to be having fun, indulging in a few moments of hilarious excess. Pipes is a terrifically steely shrew, while Harshman plays the temptress to perfection. Evigan gets the thankless sensible role, while Willis has little to do but whimper and scream. So it's no wonder that the film is stolen by Fisher as the no-nonsense housemother. Sadly, we know she's not going to have much screen time, being over 25 and all. You actually sense that the filmmakers were annoyed that they needed to include a few boyfriends and brothers too.

They'd clearly much rather just have girls prancing around in micro-minis and mega-heels, even when indulging in dirty work. And of course there's a random death in a shower. But the randomness of the whole film is the problem; there simply is no focus, no sense of pace and nothing to keep us interested as we approach the fiery finale, which is set up in the most painfully obvious way imaginable.

cert 15 themes, language, grisly violence, innuendo 26.Aug.09

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