Sorority Row may just be another slasher pic with some unique kills but the finale is the real killer of this film. However, the audio and video are both solid and although I would’ve liked to have seen better featurettes than the standard EPK-like one’s we got.
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Summit | R – 101 min. – $34.99 | February 23, 2010
Directed by: Stewart Hendler
Writer(s): Mark Rosman (original screenplay); Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger (screenplay)
Cast: Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Audrina Patridge, Julian Morris, Margo Harshman, Matt Lanter, Carrie Fisher
Theatrical Release Date: September 11, 2009
Features: Picture-in-Picture Commentary, 3 Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
** Minor Spoilers **
For me, there is something worse than a bad horror movie: an average and forgettable horror movie. Sorority Row fits that bill because while it does offer a couple gruesome and gory murder scenes, the story itself is so thin and the ultimate baddie is completely lame and absurd.
Sorority Row is a remake (surprise surprise) of the 1983 cult classic, The House on Sorority Row. I haven’t seen the original, but it seems the plotlines are basically the same. This story is about 5 members of the Theta Pi sorority house who pull a prank that goes horribly wrong when a girl (AUDRINA PATRIDGE) pretending to be dead to get back at her ex-boyfriend (MATT O’LEARY) is actually killed by the guy believing the body needed to be disposed of. The girls at the scene agree never to speak of the incident ever again and although one of them is not OK with it, she goes along with it.
In the same vein as I Know What You Did Last Summer, we fast forward 8 months and while the girls’ relationships have changed, a few of them seemed to have moved on with their lives. But for our heroine of this fine picture, Cassidy (BRIANA EVIGAN), she’s still not happy with what happened and Ellie (RUMER WILLIS) isn’t dealing with it very well either. Soon enough each begin getting cell phone pics involving the incident (the tire iron) and later one of the gals becomes the killers’ first victim; first victim of many to come. Who is it? Why? Could it be more inane as the step-brother twist at the end of Scream 3?
Actually, Sorority Row isn’t a half bad horror movie in a 1980s sort of way. It doesn’t break new ground in the genre but I will admit that there were a couple kill scenes that were certainly unique. However, I like my masked serial killer horror movies to have a bit of mystery to it and this film fails to deliver on that end and when the killer’s identity it revealed, it was just disappointing and lame. It wasn’t lame because anyone could see it coming 20-minutes beforehand, but the reasoning for why they went on the killing spree didn’t make a whole lot of sense. In typical serial killer horror movie fashion, they try to tie it together from a scene earlier in the movie, but that only makes matters worse.
On the positive side, the cast are all absolutely gorgeous and, well, hot and makes this film easier to watch, yes, even the short appearance of Audrina Patridge was bearable enough especially since she barely has any lines and is only there for a few minutes. There aren’t any standout performances but to be honest, with a movie like this, I’m not expecting anything outstanding, just enough skin to make it through 95-minutes.
Overall, I’m not sure how many pure horror fans will enjoy this. Sorority Row definitely has flavors of I Know What You Did Last Summer (which probably had flavors of The House on Sorority Row) and even though the kills are certainly gruesome, the overall story did nothing for me. I would just say, rent at your own risk. And when doing a prank, make sure the prankee isn’t some unpredictable and unstable guy, or else…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.75/5
PiP Video Commentary – The track features director Stewart Handler and actors Rumer Willis (Ellie), Leah Pipes (Jessica), Briana Evigan (Cassidy) and Margo Harshman (Chugs). The track is just the five of them laughing, giving some info about making the movie and just goofing around. The PiP is nice, but it’s just them sitting in cheap chairs staring at us. The audio-only version is also available via the “Languages” submenu. I’m not positive, but I believe the picture-in-picture part is a ** Blu-ray Exclusive**.
Sorority Secrets: Stories from the Set (10:27; HD) – The main cast basically talk about the movie like the plotline, characters, one another and the writers’ fixation with gruesome deaths via the mouth – all this is sprinkled in with some behind-the-scenes footage.
Killer 101 (13:59; HD) expands on the killing aspect of the film and we get comments mainly from the crew (the writers and director) and coming up with a slasher story. You’re not getting much info from this featurette that you already didn’t know before.
Kill Switch (10:24; HD) – The opening of this explains it best: The Kill Switch takes you directly to each kill in Sorority Row. And then you can skip to the next one and see them all. *Yawn*
Deleted Scenes (6:53; HD) – There are six scenes in all and come accompanied with optional director introductions. As you might imagine, none of these are that good and were rightly removed.
Outtakes (5:27; HD) – This is your usual flubbed lines, giggling fits and prop or set malfunctions. Unfortunately the director was obsessed with getting one scene about the “world’s smallest jacuzzi”.
VIDEO – 4.0/5
Sorority Row is presented with a 2.40 aspect ratio (part of the back cover incorrectly says it is 1.78) and in 1080p high-definition. Although this isn’t the best looking HD transfer of a newer theatrically-released film, it’s not too bad either. Detail levels are very nice, and very nice to look at I might add, and the colors are well balanced even though portions of the movie take place at night. That said, it’s also a transfer that doesn’t quite pop off the screen.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
Meanwhile, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is pretty darn good but like the picture, it’s not overly impressive. A good portion of the audio is made up by the pop-dance soundtrack, a scary score and dialogue making use out of the center channel. I noticed a good amount of ambient noise from the rear speakers.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Sorority Row may just be another slasher pic with some unique kills but the finale is the real killer of this film. However, the audio and video are both solid and although I would’ve liked to have seen better featurettes than the standard EPK-like one’s we got, the Picture-in-Picture track is decent but the audio and video are both quite good and make this set a slightly above average Blu-ray.