Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Sorority Party Massacre is Missing Something: A Movie Review

*full disclosure: a screener of this film was provided by the filmmakers.

Directors: Chris W. Freeman and Justin Jones.

Writer: Chris W. Freeman.

Cast: Marissa Skell, Eve Mauro, Ed O'Ross, Yvette Yates, Thomas Downey, Casey Fitzgerald, and Rebecca Grant.

Sorority Party Massacre is a horror film from directors Chris W. Freeman and Justin Jones. These two filmmakers have worked on another thriller titled Mirror Image (2012). Their latest indie thriller will release on DVD soon and film fans might want to read this review before buying. Sorority Party Massacre is light on story and character development. And, the bevy of beauties add little to the title, unlike the film's music. This film is more fluff than substance and most viewers might be more entertained by the trailer for this feature, compared to the film itself.

The story begins in Grizzly Cove. Here, a Police Captain's (Kevin Sorbo) daughter has gone missing. She was supposed to attend a competition for a college grant, involving other sorority members. She has disappeared along with several other girls. An angry detective is sent to find her, but he is unable to stop the bodies from piling up. Instead, the detective seems to bumble from murder to murder, much like many of the other characters.

This character reenacts a scene from 1996's Scream

The one film element that this reviewer enjoyed was the music. Composer Michael Quinlan creates a diverse soundtrack for this feature. Initially, the music is overdone and the film comes across as a music video. However, the musical choices often keep the events onscreen interesting. From heavy bass to lighter tracks, the music is one of the film's stronger points.

The story is the film's weakest element, though. The ending does add some interesting character reveals. But, the many female characters rarely develop outside of their cliches. They each play a certain role, which is the same from one to the next. These characters are interchangeable. As well, Det. Watts (Thomas Downey) is given little backstory. He is an angry cop and this is the only angle that is developed for the character. Other minor characters are hardly developed at all. Viewers might lose interest in what the characters onscreen are doing or not doing as this viewer did.

Sorority Party Massacre is a fairly shallow affair. This film begins as a music video and an homage to Wes Craven's Scream, but it never rises above averageness. There are a few jokes to be had here. A scene involving a mentally disturbed man and an eavesdropping session brings some laughter. Yet, these scenes are few and far between. Characters are murdered before they show any promise and the main murderer's motivations involve boredom. This watcher felt the same as the killer. This film cannot be recommended to horror or comedy fans.

There are too few quality scenes in Sorority Party Massacre. And, the film seems to bounce around between genres. The film begins as a horror feature and then changes into a comedy. Later, this title is a drama. Its ever changing form creates for a little instability. The film is all over the place and any chance for cohesion and substance are lost somewhere in Act II. Even the T & A, which is expected in a film like this, is light. So, viewers are sure to find better films out their in the indie thriller market, which houses a few gems. The treasures here are rare and not worth much.

Overall: 6.5 out of 10 (thin plot, inconsistencies, why is the Sheriff wearing high heels?, too many killers to make the writing believable).

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