Sorority Row

  • Review Date: September 11, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Satirical shadings can't save sorority slasher schlock.
  • Review Date: September 11, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The ideas of "sisterhood" and "solidarity" are twisted and corrupted by characters like Jessica. Still, the survivors persevere over the killer in the name of the same sisterhood. College, or at least the fraternity/sorority side of it, is portrayed as a nonstop orgy of drinking, parties, and sex.

Positive role models

There's nobody worth emulating here, although the entourage includes some requisite "good" girls who reluctantly go along with the deadly coverup, not to mention all the decadence. The movie's few representatives of the adult world -- a U.S. Senator, a house mother, a therapist -- are depicted as ruthless, corrupt, and sinister.

Violence

Blood spurts in many stabbings and impalings, chiefly thanks to a customized tire-iron bristling with blades. Shotgun blasts, one character is run down by a car, another's face is hideously burning from within by an incendiary weapon. Heads are bashed and noses bloodied by blunt instruments. Talk of dismemberment.

Sex

Female nudity (bare breasts) in the shower, a stripper at a party, and revealing clothing throughout -- including one get-up that shows a bare bottom. Talk of "blow jobs." Much additional talk about sex, most of it sordid, including sexual favors for drugs, sex secretly taped for the Internet, homosexual sex (a character is described as an "ass man"), date rape (seemingly condoned), etc. But most sex acts that are initiated are never completed, including a character found tied to a bedpost after an aborted kinky act. A character who turns down easy heterosexual sex is spitefully accused of being homosexual.

Language

Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "hell," "whore," "dick," "laid," "hell," "ass," "damn," "douchebag," "a--hole," "oh my God," and, most of all, "bitches."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Heavy drinking, talk of pills. One character is known as "Chugs" specifically for her voluminous drug/alcohol intake. Suggestion that "roofies" (aka date-rape drugs) have been administered. Inquiries about campus drug dealing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this college-set slasher bloodbath is full of gory deaths, mainly impalements. Sexual and erotic elements are graphic and lurid, beginning with a drugged-up "date rape" situation and continuing with casual references to sex as a tool for revenge, status, exploitation, and even commerce (trading sex for pills). Drinking is frequent (one victim is killed with a shattering liquor bottle), and college-level "education" is depicted as one alcohol, sex, and drug-saturated party after another. Profanity is the movie's least raw element, but you can still expect plenty of uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In a setup that echoes I Know What You Did Last Summer (and makes that horror cheese look masterful by comparison), a group of seniors in the Theta Pi sorority pulls a prank on an unfaithful boyfriend during a drunken party, making him think that his lover, Megan (Audrina Patridge), has fatally overdosed during sex. But the stunt goes sickeningly wrong when Megan gets killed for real with a tire iron. The women who were in on the prank are pressured by their haughty, conniving ringleader, Jessica (Leah Pipes), to dispose of the body and keep what happened a secret. Eight months later, at graduation, the guilty girls start receiving ominous phone messages and images, and a figure in a hooded graduation robe starts stalking and killing them, wielding a tire iron tricked-out with blades and sharp points. Is a vengeful Megan back from the dead?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A remake of the obscure 1983 horror film House on Sorority Row, SORORITY ROW stands out mainly for the cynicism involved -- and not just that of filmmakers who are commercially peddling unoriginal gore-horror leftovers and party-hearty school imagery to impressionable young moviegoers. The movie's campus-bound characters are particularly nasty and practically deserve to be slain (the murderer basically says so at the end), and what little entertainment value to be found here lies in the film's satirical touches -- tongue-in-cheek dialogue (especially from Jessica) that emphasizes what awful people these are and actresses willing to take their bitchy sorority personas way over the top.

Still, the bulk of the movie is just cruel sadism and violent death, not comedy, and it seems to take forever to get to the uninteresting revelation of the slasher's true identity. The usual clichés of violent attacks and characters wandering in darkened basements aren't made any easier by wobbly, dim, hand-held camerawork -- it's as though the onscreen binge-drunkenness spilled over onto the cinematography crew.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of horror movies like this. What's the allure of watching young people die in such gory fashion? Many of the victims here are quite despicable -- does that make the material more "entertaining" than "splatter" movies in which relatively innocent people are terrorized?

  • Why do you think movies set in college focus almost exclusively on partying, having sex, being stalked, and plotting revenge? Why is that? Parents, ask your teens what they expect of college.

  • Some of the movie's grim humor concerns the callous attitudes and cruelties of the cliquish Theta Pi girls. Does the movie send an anti-sorority message? Is the Greek system really like this?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 14, 2009
DVD release date:February 23, 2010
Cast:Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis
Director:Stewart Hendler
Studio:Summit Entertainment
Genre:Horror
Run time:101 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and partying

This review of Sorority Row was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byEdwardZonum July 30, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Meh....

Dumb characters at their worst.The movie is horrible,the acting sucks and yes the violence is always bloody,why can't they make a decent movie nowadays.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byM&M1995 July 28, 2014
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Bad acting and cheap thrills take over Sorority Row.

The only scary part about Sorority Row is the acting. When Audrina Patridge from MTV's The Hills is cast in the movie, you just know it will be horrible. Scenes in the film are expectedly violent, with the sorority girls being killed off in terrifying and gory ways. For instance, an entire wine cooler bottle is shoved down a sorority girl's throat, causing her to choke on the liquid and die. Girls are called "bitches" and "whores." There is sexual content galore, from a woman's bare torso being shown in the shower, to constant innuendo, suggestive dancing and clothing, boyfriend-girlfriend dynamics, and a particularly disturbing scene involving an older man preparing for sex with one of the sorority girls. Since this is a sorority themed movie, there are shots of raunchy parties and underage drinking. This film provides nothing of value to the slasher genre. My advice to you: skip this one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaithamB November 9, 2013
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Moviegoer 14: Sorority Row

Don't expect much of this slasher film. Predictable. Cliched. Basically a 70's throwback fun.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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