Detention (Movie Review)

Director: Joseph Kahn | Release Date: 2011

5

If John Hughes took a few too many hits of acid and decided to remake The Breakfast Club for the Millenial generation, he would have probably delivered this movie.

Detention opens with the murder of the most popular girl at Grizzly Lake High, by an assailant dressed as Cinderhella, a fictional serial killer from a popular film. The movie moves to Riley (Shanley Caswell, The Conjuring) an outcast who tries repeatedly to off herself due to how pathetic she feels her life is in comparison to her peers. Riley is eventually also attacked by Cinderhella thus spurring her and several other students who happen to be in detention with her to band together in order to stop the killer and save the school.

Look, this movie is batshit crazy. The horror movie references range from obscure to overbaked and don’t stop coming. Borrowing the "meta" horror approach from Scream, director/writer Joseph Kahn (Torque, Britney Spears My Prerogative) aptly delivers the hipster-esque laughs and drama with ease and style while relying his music video background. However, the plot is absolutely nuts and follows no logical direction whatsoever  - which if you’re passingly viewing might be beneficial to return to something absolutely random and exciting, but devoting anything more than about 50% of one’s attention proves to be annoying and just confusing. With Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) and Dane Cook in the supporting cast, the witty repertoire falls flat with every character too precocious for their own good and almost identical in personality. 

Though the film does not take itself seriously in any aspect, which is very respectful based on its subject matter, the lack of coherence is a bit grating at times. Regardless, Detention is worth a watch – and a few laughs - but nothing to write home about if you’re more than a few years removed from the hell that was highschool. 

CC

Associate Editor/Horror Literature/Podcast Guest

CC is the High Priestess of BGH. She's into creeping around in the shadows and loves animals, but especially baby bats and puppies.