Friday, July 1, 2016

Film Review: The House on Sorority Row (1983)

The House on Sorority Row (Review)
United States/1983
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Prime
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...a film worth watching for slasher fans."

On the day of their graduation party, a group of sorority sisters pull a prank on their house mother, Mrs. Slater, which leads to unexpected mayhem...

The House on Sorority Row is a by-the-books slasher. The film follows seven sorority sisters. Tired of the strict rules, these young women pull an "innocent" prank on their house mother, Mrs. Slater. The prank, however, leaves Slater dead. So, the girls hide the body in a filthy pool and reluctantly proceed with their party. All is well until the sisters start to go missing. One-by-one, the girls suffer violent deaths with Mrs. Slater's handy walking stick. But, is Mrs. Slater responsible? You'll have to watch the movie to find out, but you can probably guess the correct answer. Regardless, it leads to a great final act and a decent ending.

The House on Sorority Row is a great slasher film. It starts off a bit slow during the first act, crafting tiny bits of character here and there, but the rest of the film is paced very well. Hell, even the first act isn't that hard to get through. Although the plot is predictable, I was actually engaged throughout the entire 90-minute runtime. In terms of horror, it has some moderate suspense, a few jump-scares, and plenty of gore – the practical stuff. Hell, it even has some surreal visuals towards the end. I think it's all effective, too. It doesn't sit up there with Halloween or Black Christmas – two of my favorite slashers – but it was very entertaining.

The acting is a bit hit-or-miss. Kathryn McNeil was good as the leading lady. Some of the supporting cast, on the other hand, were bad. I mean, the delivery was occasionally hilarious because it was so bad. It adds some charm to the film, sure, but it doesn't change the fact that it was bad. The film is shot well and the music was good – it has a nice slasher atmosphere to it. If you like practical special effects, you'll find plenty of practical gore here. Practical effects in a horror movie are always a big plus for me. The film is written by Bobby Fine and Mark Rosman; Rosman also directs. I didn't have any significant issues with the writing or the direction. Sure, some performances could have been better and it could have taken more risks, but it was fine for what it was.

Overall, The House on Sorority Row is a great slasher. Although it has some flaws, I was very entertained from beginning to end. It's a film that gets better as it proceeds, too. Definitely a film worth watching for slasher fans.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, gore, sex and nudity.

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