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Detention (2011)

  Tags: comedic, Dane Cook, Detention, high school, Joseph Kahn, Josh Hutcherson, killer, sci-fi, scifi, Shanley Caswell, slasher, Spencer Locke, students, teens

Your rating: None Average: 7.2 (9 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
6

detentionposter2.jpg
Rating #: 
6/10
Director: 
Joseph Kahn
Runtime: 
93 minutes
Cast: 
Josh Hutcherson, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Dane Cook


Music video helmer-turned-feature film director Joseph Kahn returns (after the abysmal Torque in 2004) to bring us an incredibly whacked out new teen slasher flick titled Detention that's a mix of so many different genres and ideas, it's hard to really pinpoint where the man was going with it all. This proves to be the film's strength and weakness, as it's clear by the end of the film that much of the insanity that occurred prior into the story could've been done without.

The movie starts out simple enough as we witness some bitchy high school girl get murdered by someone disguised as a character named "Cinderhella", whose the lead killer in a fictional slasher franchise within the movie. Shortly after her death the school and its staff are in an uproar about who killed this popular girl, and it's not long before the killer goes after his next victim, who happens to be our awkward female lead.

She somehow escapes death twice (despite running around with a cast on her leg) and her attempts to warn others of this maniac are pretty much ignored by her peers and the local police. Meanwhile, the stereotypical high school jock is also an alien-insect hybrid, a mother and daughter switch bodies, and there's a time traveling bear...

I enjoyed the first half-or-so of Detention, but once the sub-plot of this jock slowly turning into an insect comes into play it just seemed like the film started to veer into much more strange and complicated territory. It didn't help that we're also introduced to a body switching and time traveling element as the story progresses. As if the film didn't already have too much unnecessary madness going on. There's literally something happening on-screen every second, like the filmmakers were so afraid of the viewer getting bored that they'd just throw in a random explosion or silly reference to keep things moving at this unusually fast pace, which grew very tedious and tiresome after a while.

In the end this is a hard film to classify, as it's clearly a pic made for today's ADHD Twitter generation, but it's also flooded with an insane amount of 80's and 90's references so it also speaks to us slightly older folk. Regardless of the audience, the film does manage to deliver some decent entertainment, despite losing its way towards the end.

Detention is a strange hybrid of various genres and ideas strewn together, which delivers a creative take on the normally monotonous slasher sub-genre. Unfortunately, the film's incessant use of on-screen randomness to please its ADHD viewers grows tiresome and it's apparent in the second half that the filmmakers just weren't sure where they were going with a lot of things. Negative aside, it's still fun and unique enough to at least warrant one viewing, if anything, to witness one the most 80s and 90s references ever crammed together for a modern film.

Posted on July 24, 2012 - 4:37pm | FrighT MasteR

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