Sorority Row is surprisingly sterile

With Sorority Row, Hollywood proves once again there’s no trend it won’t run completely into the ground. Having already remade the best known entries in the late ’80s/early ’70s slasher movie cycle, it’s now come down to this: Sorority Row, a more succinctly titled do-over of 1983’s largely forgotten The House on Sorority Row. The hokey and convoluted script about a group of sorority girls who try to cover up the murder of one of their sisters, practically begs for a tongue-in-cheek approach. Yet despite the fact that his movie features a killer with a tricked-out “tire iron of doom” as a signature weapon, director Stewart Hendler plays it mostly low key and straight. It’s as if he’s unaware that he’s making a cheesy exploitation movie. There are some stylishly shot murder scenes, but the movie quickly cuts away from these moments as if embarrassed. Compared to other recent R-rated horrors, Sorority Row is practically bloodless. Carrie Fisher is the only one who seems to understand the kind of movie this is, and her scenes as the sorority house mother inject a much needed sense of campy fun into the proceedings. Unfortunately, she’s only onscreen for about 10 of this movie’s 101 minutes. *