FILM REVIEW: HAUNTING ON FRATERNITY ROW
Released: November 2, 2018
Director: Brant Sersen
Writers: Brant Sersen and Jeff Cahn
Starring: Jacob Artist, Jayson Blair, Shanley Caswell, Claudia Lee, Ashton Moio, Cameron Moulène, Molly Tarlov, Chester Rushing, Breon Pugh, Stephanie Honoré, Eduardo Losan
Stream on Netflix
An effective comedy/horror that delivers on both successfully
My brain usually chugs along in accordance with the general consensus as I review horror movies, although I’m aware I may be slightly more forgiving than others. After watching Haunting On Fraternity Row, I excitedly began a search for the movie information I needed to write this review when I noticed the movie had a mere 3.8 out of 10 on IMDb. WTH, I thought to myself as I peered into the abyss of the low score number. Did a freak incident involving bad math produce this oddity?
Haunting On Fraternity Row is an American horror-comedy film, directed by Brant Sersen that delivers on both horror and comedy. By all means the film does not reinvent the wheel however it does enthrall and it will pull you into its anything but jejune world. The casting is spot-on perfect, as it provides likable characters whom are relatable as well.
For the film, Brant Sersen tweaked the frat guy persona adding introspection and kindness, even if at times he is still the ridiculous, oversexed jock. What we experience is not the stereotypical college bro; damaging everything and everyone in their path but a different kind of college jock that has a semblance of respect. The subtext is admirable especially when the character attributes could have been played in so many different directions. Furthermore, the actors demonstrate solid ability in their craft, garnering successful laugh-out-loud comedy within a bona fide horror movie.
Of course as is customary, the annual Luau procures an abundance of scantily-clad female sorority sisters including some incredibly funny cast members such as Claire (Marley Tolov, MTV’s Awkward), who is hysterical as every bro’s type of bro and the ridiculously over-the-top, Liza (Claudia Lee, The Girl in the Photographs), who along with their other sorority sisters are primed to get sloshed as they search for their perfect Mr. Right now.
While all the silliness is going down, a horror story is building up as a menacing spirit becomes accidentally freed after a keg falls down the basement stairs inadvertently revealing a secret tunnel into a small corridor covered in light fixtures. On a center alter a once covered chalice has now been knocked over, freeing its contents back into the world.
There are several truly scary moments in Haunting On Fraternity Row, so do not be fooled by the comedic overture as the movie is a solid ghost story. Where the movie does unfortunately fall flat is in the CGI effects. While I have seen worse, the CGI should have provided for a more thoughtful look into the character of the movie’s evil spirit. Not only is the CGI not the greatest but the character itself seems rushed.
Haunting On Fraternity Row is a thrilling watch with all the elements one could wish for in a college-themed, luau thrown, booby-bouncing, butt-shaking movie that strives and succeeds to serve its horror wrapped in a comedy. So give it a try. Now streaming on Netflix.