Directed by: Geoffrey Wright
Actors: Brittany Murphy, Jay Mohr, Michael Biehn
Also known as:
Description: Geoffrey Wright’s 2000 film ‘Cherry Falls’ is a far cry from his name breaking debut feature ‘Romper Stomper’, but is nonetheless an entertaining little slasher film, perhaps the last decent slasher film from the late 90’s slasher revival scene.
Like ‘Scream’, this revisionist slice n’ dice offering bends a lot of the rules of the genre. Out is the old sex = death rule, with the killers modus operandi here being to only kill virgins. Again, like ‘Scream’, this film places a lot more emphasis on character development, and he films concept allows an interesting and satirical look at the politics of sexuality within American High Schools. Unlike so many offerings in the genre, the characters in this one don’t come across as parodies of teenagers either. Even the school slut has more depth than your average F13 flick would allow for. Perhaps the most unusual break from the codes and conventions of the genre is the films lead, played by Brittany Murphy before she turned into a bleached blonde stick insect. Her character is a far cry from the standard girl next door types, being much darker and angsty, particularly as the film progresses.
The film is not without its flaws however. Running foul of the MPAA, much of the gore and sex was cut out of the film, which really reduces the thematic weight of the film. How can you have a film which is explicitly about the link between sex and violence, without showing it? As such, what should have been a great film, becomes merely a good one. Whilst it has the usual cliche family crisis back-story, ‘Cherry Falls’ was in my mind the last decent slasher film until the recent ‘All The Boys Love Mandy Lane’. Like that film, ‘Cherry Falls’ dares to be different from the rest of the pack, and on those grounds alone it is worth watching. Need I mention it’s very darkly funny as well.
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