Monday, September 3, 2012

Movie Review: “Detention”

Runtime: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: April 13, 2012

“Detention” is the kind of movie that you either love or hate. I loved it, so I was a little surprised to see such bad ratings and reviews for the film. It seems like a lot of people like straight up horror movies or straight up comedies without any mixing, but that’s kind of what makes “Detention” so great.

The movie opens with prom queen Taylor explaining the rules of popularity. As she types away on her cell phone, Cinderhella jumps into the room and brutally murders her. The movie then cuts to Riley (Shanley Caswell) who is your typical high school outcast. Like most high school set movies, she’s actually a gorgeous girl who other people just pick on for no reason.

Riley gets her iPod stolen on the way to school, has a cast on one leg, loses a debate on the merits of vegetarianism, and has to watch her crush Clapton (Josh Hutcherson, “The Hunger Games”) flirt with her former best friend Ione (Spencer Locke, “Resident Evil: Afterlife”). Ione is obsessed with the early 1990s, listens to music from the era and dresses in that type of clothing. Clapton does too because he wants to impress her, which leads to her ex-boyfriend Billy (Parker Bagley) issuing a showdown to him.

On paper, “Detention” is a movie about a group of seemingly unconnected high school students who get stalked by a character named Cinderhella from a popular series of horror movies. In actuality, the movie is so much more than that. The movie keeps jumping into little side stories that you can’t help but laugh at.

There’s a time traveling bear that aliens picked up and now resides as the mascot of their high school. There’s a storyline involving Ione and her mother Sloane switching places, with Ione going back to her mother’s body in 1992 and Sloane taking over her daughter’s body. There’s the backstory involving the end of Ione and Riley’s friendship when Ione went after Clapton, knowing that her best friend had a thing for him. Oh, and did I mention a cameo from Ron Jeremy, playing a weird vampire/werewolf figure? Or what about the character who turns up after serving detention for 19 years and flashes back through the years, with music from that year playing and characters dressed in the clothing from that era?

When I rented the movie, the woman at the video store gushed about her crush on Hutcherson, even calling herself a “dirty old lady” before recommending the movie because it was so funny. Usually that annoys because it means that I’ll hate the movie, but this time I really liked it! The humor is sometimes a little dark and there aren’t a lot of horror elements, but “Detention” is a damn good movie.

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