Hellementary (Andrew Smoley, 2009)
[note: review originally published 29Sep2010]
I watched thirteen movies over the weekend of September 26, 2010. Yes, thirteen. That’s actually not much more than a regular weekend for me, but I digress. I didn’t see anything great. A lot of it was mediocre. Some of it was awful. But the worst of the lot was Hellementary, a derivative, shallow, predictable excuse for a horror movie that lacks anything remotely resembling a scare.
Plot: college professor (who looks about the same age as his students) and his class break into an old schoolhouse where a bunch of kids were killed twenty years ago. Not surprisingly, they start dying one by one, and the survivors have to figure out why before everyone’s dead.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s the basis of every slasher flick since… well, the first slasher flick, really. Now, it’s possible to take a theme and press variations on it until you get something good, or possibly even great. Out of the great morass of slasher movies over the years you get Halloween and the second Friday the 13th and the first Nightmare on Elm Street. Those are the pearls, and then there are the swine. The swine, of course, are legion, and they’re all constructed pretty much like Hellementary; there’s no character development (Smoley made sure each character was distinctly dressed so we could tell them apart), there’s no interesting directorial decisions, the script (written by Smoley) is interchangeable with that of a thousand other slasher films, the acting ranges from competent to unintentionally hysterical, etc. There is nothing to recommend this film to anyone but the most hardcore fan of slasher movies who enjoys being able to tell what’s coming before it actually comes. ½
Trailer? But of course!