When lead mean girl Jessica (Leah Pipes) suggests they chop up the corpse and hide the pieces, Garrett takes it seriously and impales her on a tire iron. Now that Megan's dead for real, all are implicated, and the group decides to dump the body into a mine shaft and never speak of it again. When Cassie tries to call the police, the others force her to go along by threatening to say that she killed Megan.
Fast-forward to the end of the school year, and all of the sisters suddenly receive a text message with a photo of the tire iron. Someone in a hooded graduation gown begins bumping off all those involved in the death -- and a few peripheral folks to boot. Could it be that Megan wasn't dead after all? Or has Garrett gone nuts in the wake of the tragedy? Or does someone else an axe -- or rather, a "pimped out" tire iron (the killer's weapon of choice) -- to grind against the gals of Theta Pi?
The End Result
The writing, however, does little to distance the film from the glut of slashers that have preceded it. The characters are throwaway stereotypes -- the sisters including the good girl, the nerd, the mean girl, the loose girl and the racial minority -- and the plot is a by-the-numbers mystery. Even if you don't guess who the killer is, you're not surprised at the big reveal or at any of the requisite twists and red herrings.
As the lead, Briana Evigan is lethargic and uninteresting, perhaps going through withdrawal from the cigarettes that gave her that unseemly two-pack-a-day rasp. Thankfully, the rest of the cast holds up solidly, particularly Harshman as the sardonic comic relief.
Director Stewart Hendler follows up his underrated killer kid pic Whisper with this higher-profile yet lower-performing retread, displaying some of his flair for generating scares but more often than not merely going through the motions.
That said, Sorority Row doesn't really do much wrong. It just does little right. But if you're in the mood for a straightforward slasher with high production value, you could do a lot worse.
- Acting: C (Evigan is a dull lead, but the other cast members help make up for her deficiency.)
- Direction: C+ (Competent but underwhelming.)
- Script: C- (Standard mystery with no surprises.)
- Gore/Effects: B- (A couple of nice kills, but fairly tame gore.)
- Overall: C (A solid but unspectacular and unoriginal slasher.)
Sorority Row is directed by Stewart Hendler and is rated R by the MPAA for strong bloody violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and partying. Release date: Sepember 11, 2009.