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In honor of Halloween week, I give you my review of my new favorite comedy horror film. Ok, so I still love Cabin in the Woods above all others in this category, but it might be tied with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Heathers.

movie poster

Detention (2011 or 2012 depending on what you’re looking at)

Starring: Shanley Caswell (Riley), Josh Hutcherson (Clapton), Spencer Locke (Ione), Aaron David Johnson (Sanderson), and a bunch of other people, including Dane Cook (don’t worry, he plays an asshole, so those of you who hate him can still hate him, and those of you who don’t will find him funny AND an asshole).

Directed by: Joseph Kahn

At a VERY basic level, it’s about a bunch of high school kids trying to survive a serial killer (Cinderhella) in their hometown of Grizzly Lake. It’s a horror comedy in the same vein as Scream, Cabin in the Woods, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. I will warn you now – it is very fast-paced, and often feels as though whoever wrote it was on some serious hard core drugs as they came up with it, but ultimately I think it does a pretty damn good job of bringing everything full circle with appropriately placed foreshadowing woven in amongst all the randomosity and outrageous humor. That said, I don’t think it would work nearly as well if it was a slower-paced story. One of the reviews on Netflix says it perfectly: you know how some scripts are like sharks? They have to keep moving or they’ll die? This is definitely one of those scripts.

The writers/directors also had an obsession with the 90s. There is an insane number of 90s references. Also there might be time travel. Don’t think about it too hard, and it’s ok. Sometimes I think this is supposed to take place a bit in the future, or perhaps this is just a very strange school full of scientific geniuses. It’s hard to tell. But like I said, don’t think about it too hard and the crazy is just hilarious. I’ll give you the trailer, but I don’t think it quite does it justice as far as telling you what you’re really getting yourself into.

Really, it’s something like this:

detention-equation2

Did I mention there’s also a Canadian who talks like every moment of his life is living a slam poetry performance? Or that there’s a very Freaky Friday subplot? There also might be aliens. Or someone who is part fly. If that’s not enough to get you intrigued, here are some of my favorite lines (many of which remind me of my favorites from Heathers) and images:

fashion victim

Riley: “Every morning I try to remember that I’m only the second biggest loser to walk Grizzly Hills High. First place goes to the drunk slut who screwed the dead mascot in 1992. But the 90’s are history, and so am I.”

detention 2011 riley

Gord the Canadian: “Yes, I like to start off by saying that this girl’s argument is ridiculous! Vegetarians who eat fish are hypocrites! She thinks that because fish feel no pain they don’t value their lives. Absurd!”

gord

Clapton: I’d hide in a sporting goods store if zombies attacked.

Sanderson: Costco. Zombies don’t have memberships.

Clapton

do the crane thing

These people must have had a ridiculously good time making this movie, if nothing else.

cast having fun

I am sure this movie has many flaws. But I thought it was well done and enjoyable for what it was: a horror comedy. Plus Josh Hutcherson is adorable. They did a good job of hiding who the Cinderhella killer was until the audience was supposed to know, too. I generally don’t like it when movies/TV shows try to do a bunch of things all at once, but somehow I think it worked for this one.

So, if you’re looking for something kind of scary and kind of ridiculous to watch for Halloween week, Detention is on Netflix! Enjoy!

 

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