Do you remember that grand speech towards the end of 'Team America: World Police' where everyone was summed up as either a pussy, an asshole or a dick? Well, with 'Sorority Row', itís basically the same principle Ė everyone is either a bitch, a slut or a prick, according to themselves and each other, and theyíre all going to pay the price for their catty behavior at the hands of a tire-iron-wielding maniac.Hey, thatís just what happens when a prank gone awry results in one dead sorority sister, leaving alpha female Jessica (Leah Pipes), flagrant floozy Chugs (Margo Harshman), meek brainiac Ellie (Rumer Willis), token minority Claire (Jamie Chung) and good girl Cassidy (Briana Evigan) to cover it up. Cut to a graduation kegger eight months later, and the lovely ladies of Theta Pi are suddenly taunted by menacing text messages and their own guilty consciences before being picked off one by one.
Although he often lets his shaky-cam tendencies get the better of him where intensity is intended, director Stewart Hendler makes every effort to cast every scene in a high-gloss sheen fitting of such a superficial ensemble, an ensemble that comes across convincingly as nothing less than the one-note drama queens that they are. Everyone sasses, though Willis mostly just whimpers, and then everyone screams. Simple enough.
After a wheel-spinning first half in which as many shirtless guys are crammed on screen as shirtless gals, our cast starts getting real dead real fast, with the survivors tossing off the occasional glib remark throughout and effectively lightening the mood of a movie whose idea of suspense consists of individuals wandering through the soapy foam of their party patio and not coming back. Itís a feasible scenario for these girls and their location, but that doesnít make it much less silly than having a killer run around with a tire iron modified to have a different blade on each end. And from silly, we progress to ridiculous (having Carrie Fisherís house mom show up with a shotgun is the genre equivalent of having an elderly woman cuss or rap in a comedy) and then to outright groan-worthy.However, thereís an underlying current of schadenfreude that persists as every bitch, slut and popped-collar prick gets their due. Iíd like to think that a more ambitious film would play up the notion of social strata being kept in check, of having every class of elitist prima donnas punished for their underhanded schemes and general callousness toward one another. But 'Sorority Row' is not a more ambitious film. I know it. It knows it, but all it wants is a passing grade. And you know what? I think it just barely earns it.