Another school year starts for the students of Grizzly Lake High as we are introduced to the major players in this tricked out pony of a movie called "Detention", The plot is simple..the killer Cinderhella from the Cinderhella horror movies which are in this movie stalks the students of Grizzly Lake High and they must all survive the brutality, while serving detention. Actually the detention section doesn't really come into play until near the last act, but I must say it is one wild ride.
This movie is kind of like a Scott Pilgrim style set in a horror movie setting.
The style aims very high and hits most of the points it's trying to make with only a couple of scenes that kind of drag it down. Once you start to watch this movie you will be hit with sensory overload. Information flies by you so fast and the comedy stylings are quick, witty and filly with 90's pop culture references. They come at you fast and quick and this movie may actually warrant another sitting to take them all in. Why I said it's like Scott Pilgrim in a way is because the directing and editing style. It feels like it could belong in the world of Pilgrim. Where Pilgrim makes 80's and videogame references this one takes on the 90's and it does it well.
I really liked the pacing of this movie. It really hits the ground running and barely lets up. The cast is great and the characters mesh well in this story. You get a backstory on each of the main characters, you even get one on the coolest character in the movie...the time-travelling bear.
Josh Hutcherson of "Zathura" and more recently "The Hunger Games", plays Clapton Davis, a regular kid who is in love with Ione the head cheerleader and is also in bad standings with the school bully. Throughout the movie Clapton is trying not to get beaten up by the bully all the while bigger things are going on. A killer is on the loose killing off the students of the school. I've always been a fan of Hutcherson and he really turns on the charm in this movie. Not only does he star in the movie he is also one of the Executive Producers. He really plays the role of Clapton well and shows that he can be leading man.
Dane Cook makes an appearance as Principal Verge. He was a loser growing up and wanted a girl named Sloan all to himself, but she wouldn't give him the time of day. Well that kid grew up and he is now running the school. Dane Cook at times can come off overly annoying in movies but he fits right in with this one. He does a great job being the person everyone hates, and I think one thing that works with him is that there isn't a lot of screen time for him. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to knock the guy, I'm a fan of his, but sometimes too much Cook is just..well too much Cook. In this he has just the right amount of screen time to work with to be funny but not over the top annoying
Shanley Caswell plays Riley Jones, a suicidal girl who is in love with Clapton Davis. She tries a few times to off herself so she can leave this hellish world but somehow never quite succeeds. I really liked Shanley in this movie. She a girl with a heart of gold and sarcasm to kill. Her character Riley is a bit of a downtrodden character, pretty and sweet, but not enough for the popular girls to like and the guys to notice her. Throughout the movie you really feel for her character.
This movie has a crazy cast of misfits and I love that they each get a backstory. The movie is very smartly written and well directed to a point where each character gets enough time to build a relationship with them so when you come to the end of the road you feel like you know them, and most of us probably do, we probably went to school with people just like these characters.
This movie is directed by Joseph Kahn, who is probably one of the best music video directors in the business. He gives this movie a rapid pace and does a lot of quick shots and crazy camera angles. And you know what, it works. It has a unique feel and a very stylized look to it. Like I said before things will blur by you at a mile a minute so pay attention to get the references and the quick jokes. Being his first feature Kahn really shows he has the chops for movies. This looked like it was a daunting task to bring to the screen and he doesn't faulter. Good job and I hope to see more movies from this man.
What can I say I absolutely adore this picture. I love it from beginning to end and had a big smile on my face after it was over. I missed it when it was in the theatres because it was in and out so quickly that most probably didn't get a chance to see it, which is too bad because it really is a great movie. I love the whole vibe of this movie espedcially wrapped in the confines of a horror movie. The movie
has a lot of labels and it wears them all proud.
I give this movie 4.5 stars out of 5. Almost a perfect movie for me except for a couple of scenes that brought the fever pace to a crawl, but that crawl did not last long. It is now out on DVD and Blu-ray. Definitely worth the price of admission. It's one crazy ride that shouldn't be missed. I have a feeling that this movie will become a cult classic. Till next time my friends.