Graphic Horror: Bad Kids of Crestview Academy
Bad Kids of Crestview Academy 2017
This was one of the last movies that I tried to watch before I went on my hiatus and I even tried a couple times. And while it’s not a great movie, it wasn’t exactly the quality of the film that kept me from finishing it, it was just other things going on at the time. I’ve seen the previous movie and while it had a few good moments, I wasn’t a fan of that one either so I didn’t have very high hopes. This is a horror/comedy/mystery/etc that really feels like a retread of the first movie with only a few slight differences here and there. It’s another group of kids in a weekend detention that get massacred over the course of the movie with a little extra mystery going on in the background. Some of the comedy hit me a bit better this time around, but I just felt like this was another mediocre go around that didn’t learn anything from the first movie and as it hints at a third movie, I just hope that it goes in a different direction if it gets made.
Like the first movie, this has a group of rich kids stuck in Saturday detention, kind of like a horror comedy version of the Breakfast club only with a different group of cliques this time around. There’s the poor bad girl, there’s the preppy senator’s son, the clueless Asian girl with the colored streak in her hair and a thing for cats, and the slutty rich bad girl. Also like the first movie it begins in medias res so we know that the main character makes it through till the end, we just don’t know exactly how she got there. There’s also multiple flashbacks to the inciting incident where nearly everyone got their detentions in the first place and the main character Siouxsie’s sister was killed. Although everyone except for Siouxsie believes that she had committed suicide by jumping off the top of the building. The visual style of the movie is relatively plain even though they try to juice it up by transitioning with comic book style art. The art itself looks great, but it doesn’t always make sense as to why it pops in other than to make an otherwise visually uninteresting movie more interesting.
The humor in this movie is relatively hit or miss. While humor is always subjective, the moments with Sean Astin’s Headmaster Nash were some of the best as he plays the uptight and slightly clueless principal very well. He has some great exasperated moments as he admonished Siouxsie with unintentional sexual innuendos as well as later in the movie as he clears out the bathrooms during a party where teens are smoking weed and having oral sex. The rest of the humor didn’t land quite as well with some of the absurdities of the deaths and plenty of juvenile sex jokes. There were a few moments of nudity to help accentuate the sex comedy element of the movie, but they were few, far between, and not really very exciting.
There is a problem with the overall mystery of the movie as it doesn’t really offer any sort of clues as to what’s really going on. We see the deaths and there is the general suspicion cast on Siouxsie herself as we see her taze and tie up the Dean while the rest of the kids have an air of generic suspicion as people start dying since they are the only potential suspects aside from the enigmatic janitor who also played a mysterious but also somewhat neutral role in the first movie. Max Rainwater acts like a developmentally challenged person, but it’s all an act. He also has a thing with the cockroaches who are revealed in this movie to be actual robotic spy bugs placed by the senator. The mystery is really just overly convoluted, the characters have no really distinct motivations and the whole thing barely makes any sense. It was all the senator’s son so he could show his mother that he could clean up after himself since he was the one who actually killed Siouxsie’s sister and everyone in detention was a potential witness. Except that they really weren’t.
Crestview Academy’s biggest problem was that it had a hard time picking a lane. It’s a big mashup of several different genres, but they just don’t mesh together in a meaningful way. The mystery was too weak to hold the movie together on its own, the horror elements had decent moments of gore but very little actual impact, and it could have all been held together by the humor but that was too few and far between and when it was there it rarely landed. Sammi Hanratty as Siouxsie was another high point as she did have a great handle as the slightly suspicious bad kid who was really just trying to get to the truth of the matter. She was the most well developed character and one you could get behind and root for. The rest of the characters were one-dimensional stereotypes that didn’t lend anything important to the story. Max the janitor had a few interesting moments, but at the end of the day, his motivations were extremely unclear especially if you had never seen the first movie. It doesn’t do anything terribly badly, but it never comes together to create anything more than the sum of its mediocre parts that was done just as well in the first movie. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.