“Bad Kids of Crestview Academy”

A Date in Hell

Amos Lassen

When a new group of students is placed in Saturday detention at the infamous and prestigious Crestview Academy, the school becomes one big date in hell. Those locked up include a naïve pussycat lover, gay drug dealer, hot preacher’s daughter, squeaky-clean senator’s son, and an uninvited young outsider. Hilarity and suspense ensue while each ‘bad kid’ pits one against the other, and one by one each falls victim to gruesome ‘accidents’ while trying to escape. Director Ben Browder’s film begins with a SWAT-team storming a school. The policemen find mutilated bodies, a crashed Porsche, and a schoolgirl who literally opens fire on them. We then go back in time to 8 hours earlier, when the same schoolgirl arrived at Crestview Academy for a day of detention, together with four spoilt-rotten-rich kids. The moving keeps moving forward because of the mystery as to what has happened there.

That mystery, in short, is the motor that keeps the film moving. “Bad Kids of Crestview Academy” is the sequel to Matthew Spradlin’s 2012 film “Bad Kids Go To Hell” with both films based on graphic novels. The story takes place in an exaggerated reality, and features some obnoxious posh students who are detained for a day. They suddenly find themselves unable to leave the school, and then they start dying in sticky accidents. It seems that one of the students has been pulling strings to get in this specific detainment group, because it’s an opportunity to get all the suspects and witnesses to the death of her sister in one place. It all works great until the final third where satire is replaced with unfunny caricatures, where everyone sneers about their schemes.

At some point during the evening, everything clicks, everyone is awesome, and all jokes are funny. But just a few hours later the party becomes messy. Detention becomes deadly and we see kids who are anarchists to the core and spoiled rotten.

Sammi Hanratty stars as Siouxsie Hess, a Crestview student seeking vengeance after the death of her sister Alyson (Ashlyn McEvers). Not too long ago, the academy held a party where Siouxsie’s sister supposedly committed suicide. A handful of students corroborated the same story, all of whom were given detention for their actions. There’s Brian Marquez (Matthew Frias) is a the flamboyant drug addict, Blaine Wilkes (Colby Arps) is a Senator’s not-so clean son, Faith Jackson (Sophia Taylor Ali) is the stereotypical “slut,” and Sara Hasegawa (Erika Daly) is a …cat lover? Siouxsie has a scheme to invade their weekend detention and uncover the truth, but instead is trapped on school grounds after one of the “bad kids” is found dead.

This is a preps-gone-postal film with social reflection and savage mastery that includes sinister visuals and comic vibes decked dressed in death match “fun”.

A background gag becomes this obnoxious and we hate every character. The film becomes another mean-spirited at Affluenza but with no subtlety. Browder tries to treat the screenplay carefully, respecting the source material but ends up with boring suspense. “Bad Kids at Crestview Academy” gives us a mystery that isn’t a mystery.

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