Every cliché of the horror genre collides with shocking monotony in this remake of The House on Sorority Row (1983). Faceless killer, check. Screaming young girls, check. Horrible acting, plot, and dialogue. Check, check, check. It’s true, that the history of the slasher has been nothing shy of dismal, save an exception here or there (God only knows what Carpenter’s Michael Meyers, that guy in the Edvard Munch scream mask, or that weird elder fishermen from I Know What You Did Last Summer must be thinking.). So I wasn’t expecting too much from this particular chronicle. Low-quality horror films are actually one of my guilty pleasures, and in that respect Sorority Row delivered.
After a prank goes terribly wrong, resulting in the death of a fellow co-ed, the reigning sisters of Theta Pi must cover up their tracks. A vow of silence among these senior members and all is thought to be well. Eight months later, however, they come to find themselves being stalked by a hooded killer.
I don’t know if the ’83 version of this tour de force was the first to conceive of the ever-staling prank/death/killer formula (I rather doubt it), but enough is enough. Year after year, Hollywood doles out a plethora of unoriginal, uninventive slashers. And year after year my terrible movie palate drives me to seek out these abominations in filmmaking and waste ten bucks a piece on them.
The first ten minutes or so are surprisingly, even misleadingly adequate. Every actor does his or her part, pace is good, and tension is well conveyed. From there on it stumbles into all the contemporary pitfalls of its genre. Everyone apart from the protagonist is unbelievably caustic, characters perform incredibly bold acts for the sake of a gratuitous death scene, and the only twist to be had in the entire film is the identity of the killer (which in this instance is random at best). In the past, these may have been considered staples of the horror genre, but anymore they appear to be no more than bland and uncreative drawbacks. Guilty pleasure or not, an hour of this cheesy humdrum and I felt like I was being beaten over the head with a bag of oranges. In fact, once they dropped the dead co-ed down that hole, they may as well have thrown the rest of this sorry film in right after her.