Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Detention


  So many movies are simply an excercise in taking something that's already been done and doing it again, but better. Usually. Hopefully.  However, it's rare to find a movie so clever and smart and brilliant... that it takes almost everything, breaks it down into parts, and constructs it back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Make sense? Somewhat? Not really? Don't worry. It's really just that hard to describe let alone compliment Detention.

  The movie seems normal enough right away, although it opens with a girl speaking directly to the audience and using pop-up graphics to illustrate what she's saying. And this is perhaps the most average and ordinary part of the movie.  It wastes no time showing us all these characters who are your standard teenage high school archetypes. The popular kid who can't really get a good grade at all, the school bully/football jock who wants to beat up the popular kid, the blonde cheerleader,  the offbeat asian genius, the goth chick, the pervy nerd, and finally the heroine of the movie. She's actually very pretty though she's covered in this layer of misunderstood geekishness and general adolescent awkwardness. 

  She could easily be the heroine in any number of teen slasher flicks. She fits the bill. Mostly reminding me of Heather Langenkamp in a Nightmare on Elm Street, even if its just tonally.  The hero girl in this movie, Ryley, (played by Shanley Caswell) is a bit more of a tragic character than Nancy was in 'Elm Street.  We feel for her a bit more. Anyways, these are the characters the movie has to work with, plus a few I didn't mention, but every single one is important. The movie plays with them all.  I can't really say too much about the movie because it's a big and insane piece of fiction that can be classified under just about every genre ever.

  From the start it's a slasher flick, but quickly also becomes a teen comedy about school life and general angst, this is also before all the science fiction, aliens, and time-travel plotlines come into focus. It's easier to say that this movie is like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World + Back to the Future + Cabin in the Woods. And it makes a reference to The Karate Kid, Road House, Under Siege, Robin Hood: Prince of Theives and makes nods to Freaky Friday, The Fly, Holloween, Saw, and only about a hundred other movies my brain hasn't even processed yet. It's action packed, hilariously funny, gory as all can be, romantic, and even downright scary.

  It's a genre shattering experience that needs, and begs to be seen multiple times to catch all the subtlties and everything. I personally loved it. Its a love letter to teen movies, that's written like the ULTIMATE high school movie. Everything happens in this town, at this school.  It's a horror, sci-fi, time travel, comedy, romance flick that does justice to each and every one of those categories. This is an unusually short review, but I have no clue what else to say about it that could possibly convince you to see it. The acting is great and the story is so layered and mind blowing that you should REALLY see this movie. If you take my humble advice on anything, take it on this: See this movie. As soon as possible.

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