House On Sorority Row (1983)

OCTOBER 18, 2008


I managed to see all but one movie at Screamfest (Spine Tingler, which I had already seen so it doesn’t count!) until today. I had planned on seeing Boogeyman 3, but the usual delays put a stop to that, because I had to get over to the New Bev for the all night horror festival before House On Sorority Row began, as I had never seen it (plus I was co-hosting the raffle, which was going to go on after the movie) and HMAD reader Gunslinger19 had recommended it a while back. Still though, I only missed three-but-really-two films (Martyrs was always out of the question) out of 20. Not too shabby.

I can only hope Boogeyman 3 was better than House though. It’s a decent enough slasher, but it’s pretty by the numbers until the finale, and by then I was kind of bored.

As you might expect from the title, there aren’t a lot of men in this movie, but one of them is quite obviously a guy they filmed months later to add another kill into the film (his scene comes out of nowhere and his body is never even found later), something that always bugs me in slasher films. It’s hard enough to care about the victims in these movies to begin with, but to toss a guy in for no reason but to “spice things up” during a dull stretch of the film is just inching it closer to “torture porn”.

There’s also a shocking lack of chase scenes. The kill scenes are pretty much all the same; a girl goes off by herself, hears a noise and is instantly killed. I don’t even remember any “Is someone there?” type moments, because the killer seemingly teleports into the scene rather than play with the victim or even make his presence known for the audience’s sake. It’s not until the final scene of the film that we finally get a good look at him, and that pissed me off even MORE because his costume is fucking awesome! It’s a clown/jester, and while our unfamiliarity with his look results in the movie’s only real (and great) scare, it’s not a very good payoff for keeping him MIA for the entire 80 minutes that preceded it.

Still, there’s some good to be found. Our heroine is super cute (she looks a bit like Kristen Stewart, soon to be in Twilight so you won’t be able to get away from her), and my early 90s crush Harley Jane Kozak plays one of the sisters. And it’s clear that writer Mark Rosman watched Black Christmas a few times, so at least he’s stealing from the best. Also, the Christmas feel results in the finale having some surprise, as there IS a motive and a backstory and all that. I wish it was worked into the film a bit earlier so it felt less tacked on (and may have allowed the killer to show himself – they want us to think the killer is an old woman, hence the complete lack of a poster-worthy killer for the majority of the film).

All in all, it just further proves my theory – no college slasher is as awesome as the ones that played in my head when I was at college. I really should write those down.

What say you?


  1. Hey BC — I know this has nothing to do with your review (and sorry for asking here), but how do you remove the underlines from links in your posts? I've searched everywhere and I can't find how to do it. If you could explain it briefly or refer me to a place where I could find out — I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!


  2. Hmm, I can't post the html I use in a comment. But the basic is the usual < a href= opening, followed by the URL "http://.... etc", with the URL in quotes, ending with a >. Then write the text you want the link to appear as (the movie title or whatever), and finally a "< / a >" without the spaces or quotes.

  3. I hope that can be followed :(

  4. Thanks for the mention even if you didnt like it too much. I had completely forgotten my ID on here until I was skimming through your reviews for something to pick on Netflix.
    I did get to see how much of a douche I sounded like on your review for Prom Night 2008. Sorry bout that.


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