IHAO on ... Detention

"Indy" film is a hard one to put a label on.  "Indy" doesn't actually represent much beyond being independently financed.  It can have a large budget or a shoestring budget like The Human Race I reviewed a few days ago.  It can have a lot of pretty good actors like Best Man Down or be entirely cast within the Wyatt family like in Septien.

The face of pretentious indy drama, right here!

All that said, the thing that makes Detention the hardest to talk about is its startlingly odd in film reality and its very mixed up conceit of genre.  Look down at my little tags, I had to throw in three genre tags, and I HATE doing that.  It makes it so hard to sort all the reviews when I have to do that.  But truly, Detention is just that, a horror film, a comedy film, and a science fiction film.  How did it do that?  Well let me ... try really hard to explain.

The "plot" which is ... man, ok.  So there is a slasher going about a high school killing folks, based on the Saw/Rob Zombie/Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street films called CinderHella.  Our lead character is a broken footed kinda cute, kinda popular but not in the upper echelon chick, and quickly becomes a target for the slasher.  Not only that, she has to deal with her emotions over Peeta who is with her former best friend that six months ago changed everything about her life.

Then ... aliens, giant bugs, time travel, Dane Cook, and lots of satire of life as a teenager.  In fact, there really isn't much in this film we haven't seen before.  The thing we haven't seen is how all of these elements come smashing together to try to tell a singular story.  I think this film succeeds the most as a time travel slasher.  Its comedy is weak, its teen drama stuff is uninspired,  And the cinematography and directing are ... very purposefully off the wall.  Sometimes distracting, always interesting, the film has a very unique identity.

There are some storylines that are extraneous but thematically enjoyable.  There are some actors who are just not up to snuff, but then some that do a real good job.  The script is tight, if preachy and very out there, and the pacing is breakneck speed, pun slightly intended.  This film balances out a lot for me, with the parts I like and the parts I didn't creating a null for me personally, and for the really well done parts more than making up for the small things that just do not work.  This film just ended up not being for me.

BUT I bet it is for some of you.  If any of the things I said above catch your interest, give it a shot as it is on Netflix.  While it doesn't do it for me, I hope some of you can really end up enjoying this one.

Grade: B

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