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The town of Downers Grove looks like your average suburban neighborhood -- but Downers Grove has a disturbing secret.... For the past eight years, one senior from every high school graduating class has met a bizarre death right before graduation day. And this year, Chrissie Swanson has a terrible feeling that she is going to be the one to die. Can Chrissie survive the curse of Downers Grove or will she, like those seniors before her, fall prey to the town's deadly secret?
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The Curse of Downers Grove movie full length review - Please, Sir, no more
In many ways, this is the kind of horror movie that Wes Craven's "Scream" was supposed to put on notice, making the case that you can't get away with stupid, thinly drawn, overly sexualized adolescent characters who seem not to have a clue about anything around them.
I guess no one told director/co-writer Derick Martini or co-writer Bret Easton Ellis how ridiculous making such a clueless film would be in 2015. Not that the film itself would have been any better in 1989, but the act of creating it wouldn't have seemed so inane.
There is, at least, an intriguing premise -- that the curse of Downer's Grove is the death of one graduating high school senior each year. Exploring whether the curse is real, in horror movie terms, might have been interesting, or whether it is connected to some kind of revenge of the natives who once occupied the land. This is hinted at but never explored. But this film is too scattered to do that, instead dropping vague references to drug problems (never really explored or taken seriously) and thwarted ambitions of abusive fathers (never really explored or taken seriously). Everything and every character here is a cliché. It would be one thing if they started out as clichés and developed into characters we might care about, but they don't develop at all. It is perhaps unfair to criticize the performers because, really, what could they do with this junk?, but they are mostly pretty bad. Some of those whose work I'm a little familiar with, like Kevin Zegers, Lucas Till and Tom Arnold, have been much better elsewhere, so I'm prepared to believe that most of the rest can be better than their work here would indicate. Hopefully, this will be a resume low-light for them, rather than a career suicide. But if the pedestrian direction in any indication, Martini himself shouldn't get many more chances to badly mishandle any material at all.