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The West Wing
A group of sorority girls pledge to keep mum on the accidental death of one of their sisters; after graduation, however, they find themselves stalked by a serial killer who seems bent on eliminating anyone who knows their secret.
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With a flick ostentatiously flaunting teenage T&A at every turn, maybe it's not surprising that this treat is all buns and no meat. What is a little bit of a shock is just how good the bread is.
Sorority Row is a well-shot little slasher flick, not something that will turn the world on its head but decent. In its first half hour or so, I'd go so far as to say it's actually damned good.
Yes, it borrows its major plot points from --INSERT TITLE HERE-- nearly every teen slasher film from "I Know What You Did Last Summer" to "Scream." But it trumps most of them in character development, and just plain mean-girl power.
It's hard to go into much of the set up without being a spoiler, but suffice to say that the relationships between the sorority seniors at the heart of the action are terrific and fun. The one slightly weak link is Rumer Willis (yes, that Willis) who probably needs to pull back a bit on the mugging for the camera. We get that Ellie's the smart slightly geeky one (as a fellow sister puts it, like an encyclopaedia with a nice rack). She starts off as definitely more of a type than a girl, but improves measurably through the course of the film.
All of the central females are great characters: Jessica the social climber, Chugs the unrepentant slut, Claire the wannabe good girl, and Cassidy the solid friend. What happens is great at first too, a totally believable series of unfortunate events that put them in a hole just a little too deep to get out of.
The middle of the film though, is a big mess. It descends into the kind of cliches slasher films revisit only at the peril of losing their edge and becoming totally predictable.
And Sorority Row, sadly, goes there. In fact, the only surprises are when the plot takes a turn that makes no sense at all. Unexpected, yes. Effective, no.
But the final fifteen minutes or so do a lot to make up for the missing sandwich meat. There are some great moments, including some fabulous Mama Wolf acting from Carrie Fisher, having as much fun with a sawed-off shotgun as Luke ever had with his light saber.
And throughout, it's one almost unending orgy of half-clad teenagers, hormones, backstabbing, booze, and partying. With a bit more meat, this would have been a fine, fine treat indeed.