However, someone else is willing to help her meet her maker. A serial killer dressed as the psycho prom queen from the slasher series Cinderhella is stalking Grizzly Lake students and has targeted Riley for the next victim. When she, Ione and Clapton end up in detention with a handful of misfits, they begin to suspect that one of them is the killer. If they can solve the mystery in time, they can save not only the life of another student, but thanks to the inconvenient monkey wrench of a time machine, perhaps they can save the world. Or at least, Grizzly Lake.
The End Result
The dialogue is of the Diablo Cody variety -- hip, rapid fire and full of pop culture allusions (with an affinity for '90s nostalgia, because apparently, the '90s are the new '80s) -- meaning it could grate on some viewers' nerves or fly over the heads of those unfamiliar with '90s cinematic wonders like Fled and Volcano. The direction from Joseph Kahn (whose only previous feature film was the awful 2004 Ice Cube biker movie Torque, which Kahn himself readily disses in Detention) is similarly hyperactive, utilizing his extensive music video experience to create visuals that are energetic, inventive, colorful (literally -- like DayGlo colorful) and fun.
As impressive as his direction is, Kahn's writing is just as fresh, with jokes that are densely packed and original, rarely going where you imagine the setup will lead. It's almost exhausting at times as the script jumps from one wacky tangent to another, but Kahn remarkably manages to maintain a consistent level of hilarity throughout. Along the way, he skewers teen culture, modern technology, bad movies and pretty much any notion of conventional storytelling. It's cinema for the texting, YouTubing ADD generation, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean it's not smart in its self-awareness.
- Acting: A- (Though not full of household names, the cast excels playing to its comedic strengths...even Dane Cook.)
- Direction: A (Creative, colorful and full of energy.)
- Script: A (Hip, hectic and refreshingly unconventional, consistently delivering laughs at a breakneck pace.)
- Gore/Effects: B+ (A healthy blend of real-world makeup effects and CGI, making the most of a limited budget.)
- Overall: A (An energetic, wonderfully absurdist blast of creativity to shake up the horror landscape.)
Detention is directed by Joseph Kahn and is rated R by the MPAA for bloody violence, crude and sexual content, nudity, language, some teen drinking and drug use. Release date: April 13, 2012.