Sorority Row Reviews
The way a work of art gets assessed usually depends on a cultural context; who is the viewer that's assessing the product? And while Sorority Row could possibly be criticised for forcing a critic to have to recognise this truth, I would argue that Sorority Row isn't a failed work of art, or incorrect. I'm not familiar with the original film, but like the theatrical H6 doesn't need Carpenter's source material, or The Force Awakens doesn't need the 1977 Star Wars, the 2009 update seems to be an expression that is independent. Funnier, though maybe not more self-aware than Wes Craven's Scream, Sorority Row is wicked humour - the kind of humour that's especially effective if the film is experienced in certain contexts. The deaths of characters are funny, but because of the general nature of the project: to satirise society.
Even politicians are part of the story's fabric, clearly meant to imbue the film with serious outlooks on life. The symbolism of Sorority Row, again, is present but not overtly so. The confinement of settings makes it harder to deduce actual meaning, but the specific details that are shown are indeed meaningful: the way the main characters dress, always wearing silk clothing and high heels, seen holding bottles of alcohol and at times professional clothing.
In this respect, Leah Pipes' Jessica is particularly symbolic: prior to meeting her boyfriend's politician father, Jessica is seen looking at herself in the mirror, checking that her appearance is immaculate. The movie's intelligence is at a pea here, showing the viewer the truth of conflation - Jessica shouldn't be the person looking into the mirror, but should be the person who another looks into the mirror for.
Sorority Row is exploring the truth of traded identity.
As a pure slasher thriller, Sorority Row doesn't disappoint; to the contrary, the precise level of excellence of the remake is its thriller aspect working in conjunction with its humour, yet either are able to remain separate. The hooded figure stalking the occupants of the sorority is as cool and as entertaining as Ghostface, or Michel Myers (naturally, Myers is the more meaningful type of figure, but the screen presence of the two is generally equal in quality).
At the beginning, I referenced cultural contexts: to elaborate, I think what I'm getting at is that relative to actual intelligence, Sorority Row stands the test of time. The movie isn't dependent on culture, but is deserving of respect outside the paradigm of culture. Just like H6, and even films like Guilty as Sin and Saw II, I can't say I'm surprised by the low RT scores; Sorority Row is an unassuming work of art, hindered by its genre and by its literal synopsis.
The general atmosphere of the film is to represent the sourness of society - to expose the hidden depravity that a sorority inevitably means. There is the possibility that I'm giving the remake more credit than it deserves, and like I said Sorority Row is no H6, but I don't think I am: the horror element can be interpreted as philosophical depth, but I'm confident in my belief that the philosophy is another presence, not a mistaken identity of the story's horror elements.
Leah Pipes, Briana Evigan, Jamie Chung and Julian Morris are part of an expression, not limited to terror and traditional entertainment; the movie they're part of is as intelligent and as artistic as films like Rocky, Alien, Spectre and Taxi Driver.
Sorority Row is a great film.
This would have been so much better if (like the original movie) it was sort of comedic. The unique thing about the original was that it was sort of a goofy, dark comedy (like Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead) and became a really atmospheric slasher towards the end. This remake has nothing going for it. Nothing to make it stand out from many of the post-Scream era slashers. It's not even really a remake, so there's no point watching it for that. Basically, like most slashers and remakes, it's a pointless waste of time. And not a good one at that.
Granted, it's not re-inventing the wheel or anything, but as far as a fun timewaster, you could do worse.