First, the good news: Sorority Row, while gross and formulaic, was actually an enjoyable horror film.
I’m glad horror films have started to up their production values. Sorority Row is filmed with your typical handheld-shaky camera work (think Blair Witch with slightly more stability) combined with some very slick sets, lighting, and steadycam work. The opening was like a very long tracking shot through a wild and crazy party, the camera moving from room to room as we finally see one of the Theta Pis running upstairs for a special party shot leading up to the film’s premise-spurring prank. The shots and lighting are particularly strong here.
You get your usual archetypes: the sexy girl, the brainy girl, the bitchy girl, the Lindsay Lohan, the sanctimonious girl, and the vengeful girl. Something they plan goes horribly wrong and then…flash forward to graduation when someone comes along (or back?) to extract revenge.
Sorority Row plays up the suspense more than the gore, for which I was grateful. The actual killings are brief, but the film, like the killer, plays with its prey, taunting it. The plot was so obvious it felt like Braille at times, but with movies, as in with life, I find the lower I keep my expectations, the more often I am proved right–or pleasantly surprised.
One thing I have to say about the actresses in the film is that they really commit to their roles. The performances were believable–even Audrina Patridge of The Hills, who surprised me by sounding more like a human being than she does when she’s on TV. And I didn’t see one instance of rolly doe eyes when she was on screen. Good job, Audrina!
And yes, I kind of like Rumer Willis, too. Although one of the other stars sounded just like Demi Moore in St. Elmo’s Fire and I kept thinking how weird it would be to star in a movie with someone who talks like your mom.