A serial killer is offing virgins! Wow, what a great concept! Wow, what a clever twist on dumb horror cliches! Not!! "Cherry Falls" was apparently designed as a "Scream"-like semi-parody, but ninety-eight percent of this movie resembles every other terrible slasher flick ever made.I am reminded here of the slasher movie boom of the early '80s, when you could distinguish one Grade-Z dud from the other solely by the type of gardening implement the killer used to whack people. The Friday the 13th series had the machete market cornered, so other slasher flicks featured power drills, lawnmowers, etc., etc. The high concept in Cherry Falls, as previously mentioned, is a killer who targets virgins, which I suppose was intended to be a clever inversion of horror movie tradition, with its fascination with sluts and horndogs getting decapitated during coitus. The originality stops right there, though. The satirical angle keeps petering out; most of the film is just played straight; and in every other category, Cherry Falls simply recycles, quite unironically, the same old dopey material.
More than anything else, this movie is a collection of hoary cliches that I did not need to see again. I hereby call for a ban on the following scenes, effective immediately:
*The Bus Scene: We get a brief glimpse of someone--the killer, maybe?--then a bus conveniently obscures him/her from view. When the bus passes, he/she is gone. This is most commonly used in the the film's epilogue to suggest that the Horror May Still Be With Us.
*The Library Shock Scene: Our heroine wanders through a darkened library. Someone is following her. Suddenly, she bumps into him/her--but it's not the killer.
*The Body in the Locker Scene: Our heroine opens a locker. There's a dead body in there! This falls under the heading of the Artfully Arranged Corpse, of which Cherry Falls offers several other examples.
Like Scream, Cherry Falls is constructed as a mystery, but any half-alert viewer should guess the killer's identity at least thirty minutes before it's revealed. (Hint: It's the character who has no other reason to be in the movie.)It doesn't give too much away to reveal that the film's final shot depicts a waterfall that slowly assumes a reddish tint. Cherry Falls--get it? But what the hell was that supposed to mean?