Movie Review: Detention (2011)

Detention is one of those movies that is hard to put into a genre. It is a bit of a slasher, monster, comedy, romance and time travel movie all wrapped up in one. Sure it can be a bit confusing at times but the great thing about this movie is the fact that it’s so self-aware of what its doing that none of it ever seems overwhelming. Detention is directed by relatively newcomer Joseph Kahn and stars Shanley Caswell, Josh Hutcherson and Dane Cook.

The plot of Detention is anything but simple. The movie starts off with a grisly murder scene of the town’s popular girl. After which we are introduced to Riley (Caswell) an every day girl who is just managing to get through high school. It doesn’t take long before the killer sets his eyes on Riley and it falls on her and her best friend Clapton (Hutcherson) to find out who the killer is. Of course there’s a lot more to it than that but saying anymore would ruin the movie so on with the review.

High School can be Cruel.
High School can be Cruel.

If I need to describe Detention in one word it would be gutsy. What Kahn did with this movie takes guts as your bound to turn some of your viewers away with its rapid fire storyline and mixture of sub-genres. Yet Kahn does a great gob at it and manages to pull it off. He’s created a well-crafted movie that’s sure to please fans of unconventional movies. There is but one down side to the story and that is the final which tends to drag along. Nevertheless the story is unique and has a charm all on its own.

For the most part the acting in Detention is okay. Caswell and Hutcherson do a nice job of carrying the film although at certain points in the movie both Caswell and Hutcherson tended to be a bit bland in some of their scenes but that might have been the whole point. Other than that everyone did a good job. Even Cook, who I am not a fan of, did a great job as a maniacal and somewhat sad principle of Grizzly Lake High School.

All in all the movie does have a few pit falls mostly having to do with the ending but all that can be forgiven based on the whole movie being so ambitious. The direction and action where well done along with the musical score which does a nice job of blending everything together. Detention is truly a gutsy picture and that's evident throughout the movie from its opening scene to the ending. I would recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of offbeat movies or just anyone who likes to experience something new, 3 ½ out of 5.

Comments 3 comments

vegaswriter profile image

vegaswriter 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Always looking for new movies to watch. Been on a foreign horror / thriller kick lately. REC's , The Troll Hunter, The Monitor (Baby Call) and High Tension (not the US release where they cut out scenes). We are probably going to check this out.


mothman633 profile image

mothman633 4 years ago from Stockton, CA Author

Those are all great films I especially liked the Troll Hunter it was a lot of fun to watch. I am getting ready to watch REC 3 and will review it soon. Thanks for reading.


vegaswriter profile image

vegaswriter 4 years ago from Las Vegas

Ha. I thought the Troll Hunter might be more like one of those Sci Fi movies but was pleasantly surprised. They seem to take a little while to get going (the monitor did as well) but when they did I totally got into it.

I got a little aggrivated at the end and that I had to look it up to try and figure out what happened since I couldn't read the language but wound up being glad I did.

I would have never known that clip at the end was a real clip of a press conference where the Prime Minister says 'Norway has Trolls' when talking about power lines which just put some icing on the cake.

Most people seem to love REC3 or hate it so waiting to read your thoughts but not saying more than that. :-)

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