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Summary: All her life Leigh Ann Watson (Holmes) has done the right thing. Her only ticket out of town is the one scholarship that goes to her school's top student. All she needs is an "A" in history. There's just one problem: Mrs. Tingle, the history teacher who for 20 years has terrorized the students of Grandsboro High. (Dimension Films)
Just because it isn't the movie i wanted it to be doesn't mean it's a bad movie. The acting is really quite good, & the people all cute enough to hold attention. None of the characters make any transformation, & the weak story really starts to fall apart toward the end. If it's a comedy, it really isn't funny, & if its a thriller its not thrilling so it just sort of sits there on the screen. I don't know what to make of it.
Cleverly snowballs through different tones and genres with cinematic trickery, however it's not quite as successful as Mr. Williamson's masterpiece, Scream, lacking real visceral suspense, thrill, horror, or humor at its core. There are some amazing performances from Dame Helen Mirren and Marisa Coughlan though. Seriously, who is Marisa Coughlan and why isn't she a famous/award winning actress? The Exorcist scene is insane! Overall a commendable effort just a few decisions shy of brilliance.
The fundamental issue with this movie is that none of the high school movie stereotypes are likable, especially compared to Helen Mirren's Mrs. Tingle, whose greatest sin is being a high school teacher (where she's considered a bitch) instead of a college professor (where she'd be considered normal). Unfortunately, the film isn't set up so the audience can like the evil antagonist, like Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. We're stuck rooting for this movie's equivalent of Buffalo Bill.
Mirren makes this strangely watchable. Is it a comedy? Is it a thriller? Well, it's certainly a failure. It intends to be a movie about hard-done-by teens exacting cruel vengeance on their old bitch of a teacher, but you quickly find yourself rooting for the old coot to bash their vapid little brains in. Or shoot them with a crossbow. Or something. Just please, somebody, kill those fucking kids.