EIFF 2017: Bad Kids of Crestview Academy – International Premiere

Director: Ben Browder

Starring: Sammi Hanratty, Colby Arps, Sophia Taylor Ali, Erika Daly, Matthew Frias, Bend Browder, Gina Gershon

Run Time: 100mins

Bad Kids of Crestview Academy is a sequel to the 2012 film “Bad Kids Go to Hell” which is based on the sequel to the graphic novel, “Bad Kid Go 2 Hell” that, THAT film was based on. Ok so you Got that right?… Ok just want to make sure we are both on the same page!

To be honest though, if you have not managed to catch the first film in the series or have not seen it for a while, don’t worry, an awesome graphic novel style opening credits sequence lets us catch you up on the story so far!,

The original film was described by many a critic as being “Breakfast Club meets Battle Royale” after what seems like a normal weekends detention turns into a horrific game of life and death as the entire school of Crest view academy goes into lockdown, it’s at this point in my opinion however that the film turns less battle royale and wanders off into more of that good old fashioned slasher territory!

So a quick run down of the characters,
First off we have Siouxsie (Sammi Hanratty) who manages with the aid of her hacker fried to finagle her way onto the detention list to investigate the cause of death of her recently deceased sister. Handily the other kids in this particular detention were all at the same party where Siouxsie’s sister supposedly killed herself.
Siouxsie obviously thinks there is more to this apparent suicide than meets the eye…

Siouxsie while not exactly a 3 dimensional character is defiantly the best drawn of the bunch and despite her adolescent stroppiness is probably the most root-able one too.
The others kids involved are really a series of well know traits.
Blaine (Colby Arps) is preppy and uptight, Faith (Sophia Taylor Ali) is the dumb, slutty daughter of a priest rebellious cheerleader, Sara is the nervous studious one and lastly Brian is the hard-partying, sarcastic gay one.

You may be surprised to find this investigation lead to the film having a “Rashomon” style structure with the events of party where Siouxsie’s sister died being replayed several times from different characters perspective.
You will be less surprised to find that there is no other Kurosawa comparisons to be found in the movie.
That beng said most people coming to this won’t come for the character development and the narrative arc but for the glorious kills, spills and carnage and on this score the film is very good and the death sequences and practical effects gore are aplenty!

There are also many good uses of comic book imagery feature in Bad Kids of Crestview Academy as after each death it is presented as if it was a splash page of a graphic novel, combine this with a tonne of cartoony speech bubbles and the whole film gives off a real pop art feel that works incredibly well!

Another plus is while the humour definitely gears towards that of a sophomoric nature, there are still some funny lines with lots of nods to films like “Scream”, “I Know What You did Last Summer” and many of the other millennium rival slashers that we all know and love. On top of all this, there is a fun cameo by Sean Austin as the officious Headmaster Nash!

If you want something fun, gory and have a thing for rebellious teenagers firing machine guns and flame throwers, then this is defiantly one you are not going to want to miss!


Words by Scott Murphy