BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY [Edinburgh International Film Festival]

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Bad Kids of Crestview Academy is a sequel to 2012 trashfest Bad Kids Go To Hell (originally released in the UK as The Haunting of Crestview High), itself adapted from a schlocky comic book of the same title featuring bloody shenanigans at a posh school. It doesn’t actually matter if you haven’t seen it because the straightforward plot is recapped in an opening faux-comics montage, there’s not exactly a vast amount of pertinent details needing understood, and much of it can be inferred from dialogue anyway.

 

The basic plot sees a quintet of ethnically diverse teenage stereotypes arrive for Saturday detention, and one by one begin dying in increasingly brutal fashions. The crux of the story comes from rebel girl Siouxsie having hacked her way onto the detention list so she can investigate the death of her sister at a party, which was written off as a suicide but she believes was murder, with each of her fellow stuck-up Breakfast Club holding a piece of the true story.

 

Ben Browder returns from the previous film as creepy janitor Max, but once again doesn’t have enough of a presence, especially considering the suggestive flashes that there is much more to the man hidden beneath his dim-witted façade. This film also marks Browder’s directorial debut, and while he manages to create an atmosphere of surreal chaos using sinister lighting and tilted camera angles, it isn’t enough to maintain interest in a straightforward story that long outstays its welcome.

 

To be fair, there is some effort to expand the setting and avoid the story being a complete retread, but unfortunately it’s precisely this extra material that causes the film to drag. Watching thoroughly unpleasant and utterly unlikable people be killed in imaginatively gruesome ways is one of the joys of watching slasher movies, especially in this case where their being rich and entitled gives them an inflated sense of self-importance, but the ratio of death scenes to time passed is not enough to satiate even the most patient of gorehounds, especially with a lengthy climactic sequence that throws in two too many plot twists in an attempt to make the story appear craftier than it actually is.

 

Bad Kids of Crestview Academy is certainly a film aware of how inherently daft it is, but it’s nowhere near good enough to praise, nor does it reach the levels of endearingly bad in the way a legion of cult movies have remained popular, and it’s this frustrating middle-of-the-road quality that makes it difficult to recommend to anyone. The film finishes with a story thread unresolved and ends with a stinger strongly suggesting that ideas for more films are in the works, and while this isn’t exactly the most auspicious jumping off point for a series continuation, there really isn’t anything to stop another of these films from getting made. After all, this one did.

 

BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY / CERT: TBA / DIRECTOR: BEN BROWDER / SCREENPLAY: BARRY WERNICK, JAMES R HALLAM / STARRING: SAMMI HANRATTY, COLBY ARPS, SOPHIA TAYLOR ALI, ERIKA DALY, MATTHEW FRIAS, BEN BROWDER, GINA GERSHON, SEAN ASTIN / RELEASE DATE: TBA

 

Expected Rating: 6/10

 

Actual Rating:


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