Detention (2011)

Day 2 of my “31 Days of Horror”, and just in case you forgot, these will all be movies that I’ve never seen. Lets get right into it.

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What an absolute fucking mess.

Written and Directed by Joseph Kahn, who’s filmography is full of music videos and the 2004 film “Torque”, Detention has a pretty bizarre and tough-to-explain plot, but IMDB describes it as :

As a killer named Cinderhella stalks the student body at the high school in Grizzly Lake, a group of co-eds band together to survive while they’re all serving detention.

Well, sort of. That leaves out the time travelling, the aliens, an inexplicably magnetic stuffed bear, body swaps, and several other things that were shoved into this film. It’s a bloated mess honestly, and was sort of a chore to sit through. Presented with that criticism, I’m sure this would be the response:

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I got the sense that this was supposed to be a wild and crazy, super cool, super slick horror movie that really appealed to teenagers, but it just missed the mark. It’s the kind of thing that happens when a movie tries too hard to FORCE a specific look and feel, and story for that matter. Typically we see it in movies that set out to be B-movies, or movies that MEAN to be goofy or stupid. They come off as forced, instead of as tongue in cheek. This was no exception. The plot is bloated and unnecessarily confusing. On top of that the editing was a little too MTV for me. A better example of what they appeared to be going for could be found in movies like Zombieland or Cabin In The Woods. This is certainly an inferior example.

The actors were fine, but their characters were generally pretty unlikable. There are a few familiar faces in this movie, including Shanley Caswell (The Conjuring) and Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games). Plus, inexplicably we have Dane Cook. Though, a scene in which he is cut in half with an axe is among the more satisfying parts of the movie.

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The gory moments in the movie really were the only things that it had going for it. The jokes seemed forced and stupid, and the twists and turns the movie took became exhausting and tedious by the end. I really just found myself rolling my  eyes and getting a real sense that the movie tried way to hard to be clever, instead of … just being clever.

While I won’t call it the worst movie I’ve ever seen, because it does have some fine production value, it’s just too much crammed into one movie. It could have been something cool, but they took it 4 or 5 steps too far.

FINAL GRADE : C-

 

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