'Sorority Row' flunks

Article Published: Sep. 24, 2009 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
'Sorority Row' flunks

Rush week can be ever so cruel. Briana Evigan stars in 'Sorority Row.'

Put simply, Sorority Row fails.

Filled to its frothy brim with loathsome characters, gaping plot holes and popped collars, this remake of 1983's The House on Sorority Row brings nothing new to its genre. It somehow even manages to detract.

That genre is "slasher film," begging the question, "What else can be done?" Rather than wager a creative answer, Sorority Row copies the passed tests of its predecessors, embellishing the tired material with a slick presentation and botched attempts at thrills and laughs.

Valedictorians in the school of Girls Gone Wild, the sisters of Theta Pi sorority drink, sleep and sleaze their way through school. Life is peach schnappsy, until an overly elaborate party prank goes gruesomely awry, resulting in a dead sister with a tire iron through her chest. Their icy leader, Jessica (Leah Pipes, Fingerprints), swears her fellow witnesses to secrecy, and the body is haphazardly tossed down a mine shaft.

Eight months later, as the sisters prepare for their graduation soiree, each witness receives a foreboding text message from their fallen sister's cell phone, leading them to believe she may still be alive, though reasonably hell-bent on revenge. Shortly thereafter, a figure in a hooded graduation gown, armed with a deadly tire iron, begins picking off each witness one by one.

The party continues, literally, as the surviving sisters, who run the gamut of college girl stereotypes, try to unmask their stalker. On board is the smart and sexy Cassidy (Briana Evigan, S. Darko), party girl Chugs (Margo Harshman, College Road Trip), standard-issue Asian Claire (Jamie Chung, Dragonball Evolution), and attractive nerdy girl Ellie (Rumer Willis, The House Bunny). Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) makes a brief appearance as their no-nonsense house mother, but she's used to little effect.

The thing is, one couldn't give a flying flip-cup for these characters, and their inevitable demises, graphic as they may be, are just plain uninspired. It's more or less I Still Know What You Screamed Last Halloween at Your Final Destination, Too: Electric Boogaloo - we've seen it all before.

Furthermore, Sorority Row flounders between silly and serious, embracing neither and achieving a not-so-happy medium. Not even a slow-motion feather-down pillow fight on trampoline makes it better. And that's saying something.

Directed by Stewart Hendler (Whisper), Sorority Row is rated R for strong bloody violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and partying, It is playing at Regal Cinema 7 in Boone.

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