Directed by Stewart Hendler. Starring Briana Evigan, Rumer Willis, Audrina Patridge, Carrie Fisher. (2009, R, 101 min.)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 18, 2009
Ostensibly a remake of 1983's The House on Sorority Row, but updated for the date-rape age, Sorority Row's got the gory chops – pun intended – but brings absolutely nothing new to the autopsy table that wasn't previously covered in, say, the vastly more entertaining, freaky little 2006 remake of Bob Clark's classic "sorority girls in peril" slashathon Black Christmas. When the scantily clad and perpetually gratingly buxom sisters of Theta Pi decide to get back at one of their own's straying boyfriend, Garrett (Matt O'Leary), they devise a none-too-clever plan to fake the weaselly creep out by pretending that his girlfriend has accidentally overdosed on the Rohypnol (aka roofies, the date-rape drug) he's given her. So far, so bitchy, but the gag predictably goes genre-style wrong when Garrett's horrified coup de gross to the faux dead Theta ends in her actual demise. Cut to graduation day and Sorority Row morphs into yet another snooze-inducing twist on the already completely frayed strands of I Know What You Did Last Summer. A graduation gown-clad killer begins sending the sorority sisters text messages and photos of the scene of their crime – there's got to be another way to relay blackmail material cinematically, please – while potential final girls Willis (daughter of Bruce) and Evigan wax solipsistic as only sorority girls can. Hendler's relatively assured but virtually scare-free direction and some above-average camerawork and composition from Quarantine's Ken Seng are the only aspects of any real note here, and that's hardly enough to merit a look-see with Fantastic Fest just a week away.