Bad Kids Go to Hell Reviews
Everything about "Bad Kids Go To Hell" is almost perfect in it's utilization of nostalgia it tries to capture, with all the tribute images and backdrops that so epically scream "John Hughes". From the library, the character traits of the kids, (only more modern and less wholesome), who make up the cast, right down to the awesome Judd Nelson cameo as Head Master. The flaw (which is minor) is that it seemed to go hardcore in referencing the 80's high school flick but sadly no real dialogue reverb from the movie, what - not one kid could have found a way to declare "I wanna be just like you. I figure all I need, is a lobotomy and some tights". Okay, I know new decade , new social commentary. The film does have some very awesome quotable moments that I loved, my fave "I don't worship the devil, I just promote him". The cast where killer in their role and all had more than enough back story and depth of personality to bring the characters to life. I did want a bit more bravado, overt-expression from a couple of the characters. I thought they where more subdued than they should have been, but still the acting was stellar. Plus a hot cast can hardly ever go wrong.
The movie's "spooky" element was a nice premise to keep the plot stimulated, (remember I am not giving any details away here), which seemed to put the kid's paranoia in overdrive, and the ending twist was cool. Although it almost came off as lame, thank god it was the ending, and not revealed earlier or the film would have failed, much like "Cry Wolf". The effects and gore are there but not really allowed to be the focal point of the moment which is kind of a bummer but still it didn't detract from the movie. "Bad Kids Go To Hell" is a fun, dark satire on High School life as well as basic social discourse that we all have to endure. Plus the subtext of how, based on generation gap and over extended lives, adults tend to view life and young people with a very distorted view outside of the reality that teens or young people in general experience (and vice versa). All in all this film is pretty excellent and a great addition for fans of 80's throwbacks or contemporary American movies, although technically it isn't a horror film it does have some pretty thrilling moments in true Draconian fashion. The real meat of the story lies with the way they reveal how each kid got sent into detention. The flashback is totally 90's "here is how..." stylization. Plus for some reason I got an early Rodriquez vibe from the film.
Crestview Academy is a private school for upper crust brats. The film starts with the beginning of an eight-hour detention for six very entitled scumbag teenagers. Dr. Day locks them in, but not before Veronica poisons him (ongoing vomiting, perhaps not death). Within twenty minutes I was ready for all these useless bastards to be slaughtered. That's what I call successful writing.
Megan dies first from the inability to find her ventilator while under the stress of a seance.
They try to escape; they try to explain the recurrence of large roaches. They end up in round upon round of recriminations against one another, anti-enforced by flashbacks.
The adults are clueless; why don't they pull the plug on the bad behavior? Why not have the perpetrators arrested? Turn off the electricity to the sound system at events? There are ways to assert control non-violently. Even good old expulsion comes to mind.
After firing bullets at the bookcases to soothe his conscience, Craig Cook gets a nice piece of steel through his thorax. Nice.
Tricia assaults Matt Clark with a nail gun, but does not kill him.
Someone kills Veronica with a shard of glass, only it was a fake out. She was in alliance with Dr. Day, or so she thought.
In a last reversal of expectations, only Matt is left standing, and the cops pick that instant to enter the detention room. The cops immediately taser him, then muzzle him. Max explains what really happened, knowing Matt will never be able to credibly repeat it.
Cinematography: 7/10 OK, but little was done to disguise the bad casting.
Sound: 2/10 Unforgivable. Whoever mixed the sound did a bad job. The rotten music was set down much louder than the conversational tracks. To hear the conversations, I have to crank up to 50; to avoid blowing out my ears while the useless, irritating 'music' is on, I need to drop it down to 10. Ridiculously bad. The incompetence extends into the credits.
Acting: 0/10 Bad, except for Ben Browder. Judd Nelson might as well have phoned in his performance. You'd think actors in their twenties could do better jobs at playing teenagers. Amanda Alch (23), Mark Donato (24), Roger Edwards (32), and Ali Faulkner (over 22, probably by a lot) were the actors for whom I could find ages. Those may be their stated ages, but they look even older. Augie Duke looked about 40 in a closeup; searching on the net suggested she's 27. I think real teenagers could do a better job than this crew of non-actors. The extras were uniformly terrible.
Screenplay: 4/10 The rotten non-teenagers do get good and dead. On the other hand, the sequencing of current time versus endless flashbacks was poor. On the whole, this was a muddled piece of nonsense.