Thursday, September 6, 2012

Class Is In Session

Created near the end of the 1980s, Return To Horror High was another example of an attempt to inject some new creativity into a subgenre that by that point was recycling and copying itself. Much like Slumber Party Massacre, the film was as much a parody/comedy as it was a horror film, as both movies were made to be clever takes on slasher films. Slasher films by the late 80s were widely regarded as mostly dumb, and even fans of them had to admit that the slasher subgenre had seemed to burn out at this point. Return To Horror High, George Clooney's bit part in it aside, is a good quality mix of horror and comedy in addition to being a spoof, not to mention featuring meta before meta became popular or widespread.

Naturally the main plot is quite simplistic, although anyone who's seen the Scream movies realizes its oddly familiar: a film crew decides to shoot a movie about some famous unsolved murders in the actual location where the murders took place. This of course results in people actually dying, as the unknown killer or killers proceeds to slice and dice up the group, who has unwisely intruded on his domain. Some of the kills are actually well executed, and the film somehow manages swerve from horror to comedy quite well, natural 1980s cheesiness aside. Like any good slasher movie it also has characters worth relating to and rooting for, something that too many awful entries in the genre would forget to include.

Without revealing the last act or what goes on, I must admit that despite accidentally catching the ending of the movie on TV a couple years back that the finale was rather shocking. Not to mention the movie couldn't resist throwing in more creepy moments as well, and even featuring a quality, surprising dream sequence. Due to being more savvy than the average slasher film, Return To Horror High is recommended for those who are not a big fan of the subgenre, and also for those who love slasher movies. When it comes to the 1980s and movies with psycho killers, that's a rare quality indeed. 84

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