Review by Kelly
“In the small town of Cherry Falls, a psychotic murderer is killing off the virgins of the local high school.”
From the back of my DVD: “...There's method to the madness and only one naughty way to ensure you're not the next victim. Dark secrets, darker motivations, and the blackest humor ever to hit the teen scene, run wild in this idiosyncratic send-up of horror films.” Cherry Falls has an exceptional cast of 90s favorites led by Brittany Murphy (everything 90s), Michael Biehn (Terminator!!), Jay Mohr (so many things) and other recognizable faces.
This movie is part bananas and part a great teen slasher movie. It at times feels like the movie has a split personality or that two people were in charge of directing or writing it. I went from loving it to finding it really cheesy and awkward. The premise is hilarious and I feel like it is the epitome of the 90s. According to Alex West, writer of The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and A New Hollywood Formula, this movie was the end of the teen slasher cycle and I couldn’t agree more
The killer seems to be targeting virgins. This of course sets up an amazing scene in the movie; one that really just needs to be seen so I can not, and will not, spoil it for you. The sexual tension between all types of characters in this movie is bizarre. There's tension between teenagers and parents, teachers and students, and even co-workers. Is everyone just sexually repressed?! We should also probably mention the relationship between Brittany Murphy's character,Jody, and her father, Sherrif Marken, as it's seemingly inappropriately close at times. There is a scene between her and her father talking while she's in bed that is beyond cringe-worthy. It kind of made my skin crawl….and not in the good way!
Brittany Murphy seems to be on par with Brittany Murphy's type acting. She's great at screaming and her chase scene in the school is very intense. There was a death of a specific character that was quite devastating, despite how I felt about them and their relation to the dark town secret.
The killers’ look is pretty fantastic and, again, very 90s which I enjoyed. The kills are bloody and brutal and I really love the killer's knife set up!!!! The killer of course is revealed at the end and caught up with this big town secret of something that happened 27 years ago. It's actually pretty disgusting and a theme that seems to be pretty common in a lot of these 90s movies. However, the ending is the most disturbing and one that I honestly don’t understand the motive of.
This movie was completely off the radar for me and this was actually a blind buy for 90s horror month. I went to a screening of this and Urban Legend (oh I love it so much) a few weeks ago and that's where I saw it for the first time with an audience. It was a perfect setting. After watching it I realized that I had seen it once, many many years ago and the only thing I had remembered was who the killer was but literally nothing else about the movie. I learned in Alex West’s recent book The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle: Final Girls and a New Hollywood Formula, the reason why it was off the radar for it seems many people. Apparently there was a big issue due to the explicit violence and the MPAA (The Motion Picture Association of America) and other companies and it was required to be edited down a lot. The movie was then only shown on the USA Channel once in July 2000. It did have some European theatrical releases but they were very few. The violence in a post- Columbine era was too much and no one has seen the original, unedited version. I would LOVE TO.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I'm kind of sad that I hadn’t really seen it until now as it is right up my alley! I am happy that I own it and definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys teen slashers because I definitely goddamn do. This one has the opposite premise of standard slashers where sex normally causes death but in the case of Cherry Falls, only the D and the V will save you.
If you like any of the other team slashers like Scream, Urban Legend, and I Know What You Did Last Summer, then please watch this right away.