Sunday, 26 August 2012


USA: Joseph Kahn, 2011

IMDB reference

Another late screening I missed at FrightFest 2011, watching DETENTION at home on the small screen I can't help but think this would've have been more enjoyable with a crowd. Written (along with Mark Palermo) and directed by Joseph Kahn this post-modern-postmodern slasher fires reference after reference at you: often visually and verbally at the same time. Undoubtedly, dynamic and even anarchic in the best possible way DETENTION starts at a frantic pace and never stops for air.

Now I like a movie or cultural reference as much as the next man and this film delivers them in spades - in fact I don't mind admitting I probably missed more than I got - but there's always the danger of that self-reflexiveness becoming something akin to visual and aural noise. Thankfully, DETENTION has some likeable characters, impressive digital effects and the odd gory death to safe it from the void.

The Count's Verdict: I've heard DETENTION described as the film SCREAM 4 should've been and I can certainly get on board with that. However, it still doesn't alter the fact that often slavish fixation on all things meta is largely superficial and dated at its inception no matter how knowing or fun the enterprise.

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