The House on Sorority Row (1983) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The House on Sorority Row (1983) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on June 02nd, 2020 | Movie Review | Slasher, College, Revenge, Party, 80's Horror

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It's about a bunch of graduating sorority sisters who play a felonious prank on their uptight house mother.

The House on Sorority Row was directed by Mark Rosman and stars Kate Mcneil (from Monkey Shines), Eileen Davidson and Harley Jane Kozak (from Arachnopobia and I Spit On Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine).

Sorority sisters... Sisters in life. Sisters in death.

A lot of people out there love this movie. It raked in $10.6 million in the box office in its first two weekends back in 1983 (near $30 million in today's money) and has made an appearance on more than a few Best Slasher lists over the years. And I get it, it fits the slasher mold perfectly giving fans of slashers exactly what they want. Lots of slashing. Problem is, I didn't see House on Sorority Row back when I was young and impressionable so it didn't imprint on me like NoES or F13 did. And I've seen countless other slashers that ran with the concept and wove in more creativity or delivered more unexpected twists. So, watching House on Sorority Row with all other slashers in mind, it just felt flat.

The House on Sorority Row, like most early slashers, starts with about ten minutes of exposition followed by endless stalk 'n kills, one by one by one by one. Every single character, except for the final girl, gets plucked off by a mysterious killer. You can literally fast-forward through 70 of the 90 minute runtime and still follow along. Sure, you might miss a dozen kills, but it's all low-budget off screen stuff.

The concept of the movie is great and both the first and last ten minutes are a blast. The first ten has so much going on it's crazy. Part of it introduces you to Mrs. Slater, the strict sorority house mother who is nothing like the house mother in Black Christmas, to say the least. In Black Christmas the house mother was just one of the girls. In this one she's more like a jaded private school nun. She basically put a huge target on her own back when she refused to let the graduating class have a graduation party.

So, as most sorority girls would, they "prank" Mrs. Slater by holding her at gun point until she begs for her life. That's funny right? And of course, in a shock twist, they end up accidentally shooting her dead and decide to stash her corpse. These girls and their crazy gags.

Next thing you know, Mrs. Slater's body disappears and the girls start getting whacked one by one by one.

There's a reboot called Sorority Row, but no way am I watching that. Looks like another I Know What You Did Last Summer. There's also another one called The Haunting of Sorority Row, but it looks like an unrelated and unapologetically bad B-horror. I'll probably watch that one.

Worth Watching? 

I personally don't think so, especially when there's so many other epic classic slashers to choose from. Black Christmas would be one that's similar except that it's way better. Return to Horror High, April Fools Day and Sleepaway Camp would all be better alternatives if you're in the mood for a slasher with style.

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