More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 14.29%
Pretty Bad85.71%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 1 rating

Latest Reviews

Secret Garden, The (2020) by Peter Sobczynski

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker by Jay Seaver

Force of Nature by Rob Gonsalves

Greyhound by Rob Gonsalves

Undercover Vice: Strapped for Danger Part II by Rob Gonsalves

Painted Bird, The by Rob Gonsalves

Relativity by Jay Seaver

Amulet by Jay Seaver

Secret, The: Dare to Dream by Peter Sobczynski

She Dies Tomorrow by Peter Sobczynski

subscribe to this feed

New Kids, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jack Sommersby

"The Ultimate Anti-John Hughes Film"
2 stars

If you're in the mood for something really suspenseful and scary, try "The Care Bears Movie" instead.

Director Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th and A Stranger is Watching were far from excellent cinematic endeavors, mind you, but there was little denying they worked on an undemanding, fundamental level where the suspense was adequately elicited. His follow-up, The New Kids, which entails two recently-orphaned high-school teens going to stay at their uncle's amusement-park home in Florida and are subsequently threatened and terrorized by a gang of backwoods hicks who've taken exception to the sister's rejection of their advances, is basically a botch because of its premature-ejaculatory structure where the conflicts play themselves out too soon without the benefit of couth in the build-up of them. The villains, headed by a bleach-blonde James Spader with the kind of dubious southern drawl that'd make even Atticus Fitch do a double take, are an uninteresting bunch who apparently exist only to threaten for the sole sake of doing so because that's what the script demands; rather than emitting a sensual violent appeal, perhaps, they're nothing more than one-dimensional, sociopathical goons with a boringly nonchalant concern for human life in general. And with both the hero and heroine altruistically good throughout, there's little in the way of vivid dramatic contrast between them and their antagonists. Suffice to say, it's another of those paint-by-numbers cinematic endeavors where cookie-cutter cliches abound minus so much as an iota of wit or energy that might lend them some gravitas, rootedness.

Even on the simplest level the film cancels itself out by doling out the fights and chases before even the midway mark, so any semblances of sustained organic clarity are dissipated because everything's on one level for far too long -- we're consequently worn out before the film even begins to approach its final confrontation. While accusing something like this with mean-spiritedness may seem prudish, the crude factor is undeniably high concerning the heroine, who's doused with gasoline and taunted by matches before an attempted rape with her tormentors wanting to "fuck her black and blue". (This is also the kind of low-echelon writing where the uncle's expression for being rich is "farting through silk".) The New Kids lacks atmosphere and tension, with Cunningham presenting blatantly obvious set-ups -- not only do you know the second you see the hero enter the school shower by himself and the heroine later go to the bathroom by herself that they're going to get attacked, but you're left questioning their IQs over the guaranteed peril they should know they're putting themselves in. To be fair, some of the deaths in the finale are fairly neat (predictably taking place at the amusement park, they're better than the lackadaisical ones in Tobe Hooper's awful The Funhouse), and Shannon Presby and Lori Loughlin give good-natured performances as the brother and sister, but the film's virtues are slim pickings and the entertainment value too low to warrant a filmgoer's full attention from start to finish even with an under-ninety-minute running time. Better thrills to be found on a merry-go-round, I swear.

Try Cunningham's "Spring Break" instead. (No gore, I know, but in the tanned-boobie department, you can't go wrong.)

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/19/08 07:05:18
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

9/28/13 action movie fan fairly good bully harasses new kids horror drama 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  18-Jan-1985 (R)
  DVD: 04-Oct-2005



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast