Parents' Guide to

School's Out Forever

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Horror comedy has strong violence, language, drug misuse.

Movie NR 2021 105 minutes
School's Out Forever Poster Image

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Almost a decade on from his feature debut, director Oliver Milburn is back with an enjoyably dark horror comedy that splices together elements of Shaun of the Dead and Lord of the Flies. Kennedy is likable in School's Out Forever's lead role, moving from cocky rebel to empathetic hero, while many of the young boys around him fall blindly in line with the tyrannical rule of Liam Lau Fernandez's Sean MacKillick. Anthony Head and Samantha Bond also make a welcome appearance as the stoic headmaster and leader of the local militia respectively, adding a touch of star power into the mix.

The film takes pleasure in moments of intense violence, though none of the kills are particularly inventive -- Milburn driving his message home with close-ups of wounds and squelching sounds galore. There are some unexpected moments that show a willingness to push boundaries and the humor is surprisingly restrained, with smart one-liners and some great reaction shots from Kennedy. Overall it's an enjoyable, if bleak, rampage of horror tropes that works well despite the final battle feeling a little lengthy and repetitive. It doesn't rewrite the rule book, but Milburn has studied it closely, and a glimmer of franchise potential could mean the bell rings for a new term yet.

Movie Details

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