Bad Kids of Crestview High – EIFF 2017

EIFF 2017Festival Coverage

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Bad Kids of Crestview High, the sequel to 2014’s Haunting at Crestview High (aka Bad Kids Go to Hell), is every bit as daft and inane as it’s predecessor. Based on Barry Werwick’s graphic novel, its a silly slasher hark-back with its tongue planted in its cheek and it’s dialogue somewhere south of stupid.

Like the first film there’s plenty so-daft-it’s-funny moments of gruesome black comedy, but little charisma to hold your affections. Bad acting, horrible dialogue, and generally dislikable characters make it a total slog. Granted you could say its a film levelled at teenagers; but even teenagers aren’t this silly, especially 2017’s teens. Political correctness is one thing but this active toying with offensive stereotypes seems plain old petulant. Like it was made by someone who hates millennial and likes to whinge about SJW’s.

Clearly there’s more money involved this time since the film never uses digital effects as badly as the first one did. There’s more focus on practical nastiness which makes the big daft death set pieces way more impressive and frankly more fun. The issue is still with characters though. There’s nothing fun about having to spend this much time with some truly shitty brats.

Sure Browder has a better hang on the tone than Mathew Spradlin did. And there’s definitely more practical nastiness than the cheap af digital of the first film. But it’s not enough. Sean Astin is a welcome addition to the cast, playing up the stuffy headmaster just as Judd Nelson did in the first film. Its a cute idea and one of the film’s few merits.

Cheap looking and dumb-sounding, This is what happens when bad films get even worse sequels.

1/5

Scott Clark

Dir. Ben Browder

Stars. Sammi Hanratty, Colby Arps, Sophia Ali, Mathew Frias, Ben Browder, Sufe Bradshaw

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