Blumhouse has been producing one original horror film a month (the series is called Into the Dark) and premiering them on Hulu. This started last October and runs through this October and to be honest, I’ve mostly enjoyed the series. Not every movie has been a smash hit but they’ve always been entertaining and interesting, some pushing the boundaries like July’s Culture Shock by Gigi Saul Guerro (which is simply fantastic and a must-see) and others just being solid little thrillers. Each film has been centered around the holiday in each month, or an important event ascribed to each month. August brings us back to school and the back to school slasher, School Spirit.
Basically what we have here is the slasher Breakfast Club. A group of misfits end up in Saturday detention after the first week of school starting. They share their woes and problems, do a little bonding over some weed, have to deal with an asshole Vice Principal, then start getting killed, one by one. You see, there’s a legendary school ghost that supposedly kills the bad kids, a former teacher who was herself murdered accidentally by her students during a prank gone wrong. Now these kids are being murdered and the question is who’s behind it and how the survivors will escape.
There are a couple of mysteries here and neither are very hard to solve. One is whether the killer is a ghost or not and if you’re paying any attention you’ll know right away that some human is behind all of this. The second is the actual identity of the killer and again, if you’re paying attention, the list of suspects gets reduced to two rather quickly. I won’t spoil it here but it doesn’t take Sherlock himself to figure this one out. Beyond that what we’re left with is a series of kills and all slasher movies live and die with the power of their set-pieces. This one is rather tepid, giving us some warmed-over deaths that all feel like outtakes from some late-90’s Scream ripoff. There’s nothing bad here, just nothing exceptional. The performances are fine and the characters are interesting, and I really liked the setup, but the delivery needed a little more verve and blood. Blumhouse movies tend to be more clever than the average horror film and most in this series have been, but this one just kind of sat there. It was slightly amusing and never boring, but it certainly didn’t curl my toes.
So if you want to put a movie on in the background that will entertain you but not demand much attention, you can’t go wrong here. If you want something that sits you down and demands your obeisance, this one ain’t it. I do recommend you try some of the other titles in the Into the Dark series. There’s some good stuff in there and overall, it’s pretty rewarding. This one falls a bit short.
Two Buckets of Blood out of Four
Kelly is the author of dozens of stories and dozens of reviews, he likes to write, he likes to read, he likes going to the movies, and he loves to laugh. He hails from the wilds of Kentucky and if you'd like to see more of his work, check out his website: