Bad Kids of Crestview Academy
A group of students are placed in Saturday Detention that turns out to be deadly in Ben Browder’s Bad Kids of Crestview Academy.
I’ll preface this by saying that I haven’t seen the first film nor did I know that this was a sequel until after I’d seen it. As part of my coverage of the Edinburgh Film Festival I thought this might be a change of pace that could turn out to be fun but I was wrong.
As a viewer I thought this film got progressively worse as it went on. Every single one of the characters were completely insufferable, the pacing was terrible and the story wasn’t the least bit interesting.
The plot follows Siouxsie (Sammy Hanratty) who manoeuvrers herself into Saturday detention to investigate the apparent suicide of her sister at a party. This event is the subject of several flashbacks that deliver different perspectives on the events of that night while Siouxsie and the other kids fight for their lives once it becomes clear that detention is actually a trap.
Credit where it’s due; Sammy Hanratty isn’t bad as Siouxsie. The character isn’t very well written nor does she have any redeeming features but Sammy Hanratti turns in a good performance all things considered. In a better film she could be a capable and engaging lead but unfortunately there’s nothing for her to work with here.
The other characters are even less engaging to the point that you might be glad when they meet a grizzly end as many of them do. Sean Astin’s brief appearance as the uptight Headmaster Nash actually manages to be funny in places but there’s very little to be said about anyone else.
Insufferable characters and an overly complicated plot could have been forgiven if the film had actually been entertaining. The bulk of the film takes place within the school and it cuts between the characters trying to figure out how to escape the death trap that they are stuck in. Any set piece moment that appears is bland and uninteresting thanks to terrible visual effects and inept framing with the added sin of there being too much time between them. This lack of solid momentum is a huge problem as it leaves more time to spend learning more about the characters who never become interesting.
Another issue is that the plot is needlessly weighed down by a random conspiracy thread that makes no sense. It comes into the film too late and is clearly supposed to tie together events that we have seen over the course of the film but there is so much fat to the narrative that it’s impossible to make any sense of it. The film should have kept it simple and left it at the kids trying to survive detention. Anything extra was entirely unnecessary.
A complete mess of a viewing experience that suffers from terrible plotting, horrible pacing and uninteresting characters. Sammy Hanratti does a fine job with the material she’s given but it isn’t strong enough for her to do anything with. In a better film she could be an engaging lead but this film definitely doesn’t provide her with that opportunity. The poor pacing drags down the bulk of the film as too much time is taken between the set pieces that result in the various deaths. It’s also bogged down by a needless conspiracy plot that does the film no favours. One to be skipped for sure.
- Sammy Hanratti’s potential as a lead
- some entertaining Sean Astin moments
- a needlessly complicated and uninteresting plot
- awful pacing
- ineptly handled set piece moments
- insufferable characters
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