I can pretty much guarantee you missed knowing that Detention even existed, which is a shame. Although I hate horror films, I enjoyed this mashup of teen movies, high school slasher flicks, and parodies. The more you know about any of those types, the more you’ll enjoy this film, which never stops moving and is jam-packed full of references to everything else, just like the modern world. You definitely need to pay attention to get everything that’s going on — but if you don’t like what you’re seeing, it’ll be something different in a few minutes.
You’ve got your mixed bag of students — like The Breakfast Club — banding together to stop a crazed killer in disguise — Scream? Too many others to name? — who’s emulating the movie character Cinderhella (great name!). The whole thing has the sensibility of Heathers, with nothing taken seriously. Shanley Caswell is the loser girl Riley. She’s suicidal, until the killer comes for her, at which point no one believes her.
Josh Hutcherson is Clapton, the cool boy she’s got a crush on. Spencer Locke is the hot chick, Ione, who used to be Riley’s best friend but is now after Clapton and is obsessed with the trends and catchphrases of 1992. They all wind up in detention on prom night, but before that, there’s the scene with a guy showdown over a girl, a cheerleader sequence, someone threatened for bad grades … all the typical high school bits, mixed with slasher chase scenes. Dane Cook is the principal, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him funnier playing the clueless hard-ass.
To quote the Amazon review,
The picture’s self-reflexive nature and ADHD pacing does, at times, approximate the bewildering barrage of information slung at high school-age culture consumers, and at times, the absurdity of the subplots, especially the complicated time travel/body-switch storyline, plays like a broad parody of the surrealism inherent to teenaged social interaction.
Yes, this is the kind of movie you can write papers about analyzing its unique structure and bizarre plot twists… especially once they get to the mutant awakening/ alien encounter flashback and the time travel. Or you can just watch, laugh at the references you catch, and be glad you’re no longer trapped in the mess high school has become. It’s like the internet made a movie. Really clever credit sequence, too.