Cherry Falls

"OK"

Cherry Falls Review


By now, the audience for slasher films is perfectly attuned to the rhythms of Scream and its spawn of imitators, each more formulaic than the next. Attractive teenagers flirt with one another, meander around campus chatting on their cell phones, then abruptly find themselves isolated in an abandoned library or, God forbid, alone in the house. That's when the masked killer attacks. Cue the shrieks.

Put Cherry Falls a notch above the competition for the audacity of its wry comic twist. Yes, there's a creepy, longhaired psychopath, either a convincing drag queen or a ferociously strong woman, deliberately seeking out virgins for slicing and dicing. Virgins. The resourceful students of Cherry Falls High School soon realize that they have a deliciously simple choice: sex or death. Which would you choose?

Not even their sensitive "Mr. Nice Guy" teacher (Jay Mohr, Jerry Maguire) can prevent the hormones kicking into overdrive when an elaborate bacchanal is planned for Friday night. Considering the alternative, randy boys and horny girls seek salvation in each other's arms. Yeah, baby, yeah!

The local sheriff (a well-cast Michael Biehn, Aliens) turns a blind eye to those naughty kids while following the only lead he's got. Could it be that ever reliable plot device of a dark secret in the town's past which can no longer remain hidden? He's determined to find out. No sooner has he told his headstrong young daughter Jody (Brittany Murphy, Clueless) to mind her curfew than she's sleuthing around herself. Daddy's little girl suddenly becomes the slasher's chief target.

You'll have no trouble deducing the killer from the handful of suspects, though screenwriter Ken Selden's choice of leaving the gender a mystery certainly helps. Senden also creates a very well-written father-daughter chat for Biehn and Murphy where the birds and the bees are not so easy to categorize. When he asks whether she could still go a little further, it's unclear just what he's intending to protect.

For the most part, Cherry Falls sticks to the tried and true formula, bringing to mind words like adequate or functional. Geoffrey Wright (Romper Stomper) deftly handles his directorial chores, maintaining well-crafted suspense without adding any particularly original new tricks to the proverbial cinematic bag.

In addition to the clever touch of kids breaking the fundamental rule of slasher films (where only virginal heroines survive,) Cherry Falls has one other vital ingredient. Brittany Murphy has all the makings of a movie star, a girl with beauty and brains. On top of that, she's quite a capable actress, much more believable as an eager high schooler than scream queen bimbos Neve Campbell or Jennifer Love Hewitt.

If anyone deserves to inherit the mantle of Halloween's Jamie Lee Curtis, it's Cherry Falls' leading lady. Her most challenging roles have been on stage (Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge) but she hasn't struck gold onscreen. With a little luck, who knows? If the Jamie Lee comparison is accurate, she could go on to star in the 21st century's answer to A Fish Called Wanda. Memo to Hollywood: Give Brittany Murphy more work!

Masterpiece not.



Cherry Falls

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th August 2000

Distributed by: USA Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jody Marken, as Leonard Marliston, as Sherrif Brent Marken, as Rod Harper (, as Marge Marken, as Deputy Mina

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.