Undoubtedly the idea was to bring out the long-delayed horror-comedy Detention, starring Josh Hutcherson, after the profile-raising release of The Hunger Games last month, but there almost certainly was also a significant amount of email back-and-forth from Hutcherson's management team with other studio folk about how to downplay its theatrical unspooling, and kind of dump the body from a slowly moving van, without hoping too many people notice. A film of boundless energy and if not empty voice then at least wholly scattershot imagination, the over-the-top Detention debuted last year at SXSW, which seems a perfect home for its robust, scrupulously manufactured eccentricities.
Detention's story centers around someone re-enacting the slasher killings of a popular horror movie villain against a couple unsuspecting high schoolers. Lest one think this is another twist or update on The Faculty or Cherry Falls, however, the film also nips liberally from canted high school dark comedies like Pretty Persuasion, Brick and Assassination of a High School President. It's basically sort of like what would happen if Scream and Donnie Darko spawned a love child in a threeway with Inception, and then that baby married the loquacious Juno, dosed up on some ecstasy, fired up The Breakfast Club's "Don't You (Forget About Me)" on their iPod, and went ironically to a Napoleon Dynamite fan convention. But in the way that sounds more like a car crash than awesome and intriguing. For the full, original review, from ShockYa, click here. (Samuel Goldwyn, R, 93 minutes)