What a great promotional ploy. Take the premise of one of your most successful television “reality” series, mix it with the popular PG-13 teen-safe slasher genre, and release it the weekend before Halloween. I’ve got to admit, when it comes to shamelessly plugging itself and leading teens wherever they want them to go and to listen to whatever they want you to, MTV has it figured out. Do I sound like an old man? Of course I do. The sad part is I’m alright with it now, where about three years ago I wasn’t.
In the film, “A pampered teen convinces her wealthy father to renovate a dilapidated roller rink for her sweet sixteen bash, only to have the party crashed by the serial killer who haunted their town ten years earlier. Madison Penrose is pretty, popular, and partial to getting what she wants. Her… sixteenth birthday fast approaching, Madison pleads with her father to stage the soirée at a run down roller rink that was once home to notorious serial killer Charlie Rotter. It’s been a decade since Charlie donned a mask and began systematically slaughtering the local teens, and his killing spree came to an abrupt end when his five year old daughter Skye caught him in the act and called the police. When the vehicle that was transporting Rotter to prison was decimated in a fiery crash, the locals thought they had seen the last of the psychotic, so-called “Lord of the Rink.” Today, fifteen year old Skye is a strong-willed misfit who has recently attracted the attention of Madison’s hunky ex-boyfriend Brigg, a star athlete at their high school and the object of every female student’s affections. Jealous, Madison encourages her friends to humiliate the unassuming Skye, who plots revenge by crashing the well-publicized party with her geeky guy pal Derek. Later, at the party, all hell breaks loose when Rotter makes his presence known by using a severed head as a cake topper, and Madison must team with Skye, Derek, and Brigg to rid their town of the resilient maniac once and for all.”
My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen starts out mildly promising with a pretty cool killing scene and a kind of “flashback” to the mid 90’s to establish what happened in the roller-skating rink that the bratty teen wants reopened and remodeled for her big sixteenth birthday bash. Right off the bat, you definitely hope for the horrible death of the girl and her pathetic father who caters to her every whim. Like I said, it’s a promising start. They are definitely trying to recapture the whole Scream, Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer vibe.
The teen actors are all really great as their superficial spoiled brat characters and fulfill all that the roles demand of them. You’ve got your smart-mouthed jock goon, the sensitive jock who just wants to do something besides be known as a lunkhead sports guy, the misunderstood “weird” girl who just wants to be normal (which apparently means being a spoiled-rotten bleach blond whiner), the pathetic best friend who is equally as “weird” as the misunderstood girl (i.e. an updated version of Ducky from Pretty in Pink), the obnoxiously popular snobby girl that every other girl wants to be, and then all her sad and hopeless followers that don’t even really like her but stick around to be “cool.” The cool thing is that unlike your high school and real life, you get to see them all slaughtered before your very eyes. It’s almost like therapy for you to get to watch examples of all the kids that picked on you in high school being slashed in front of you.
Unfortunately, the entire middle of the film is weighed down with a whole lot of fluff and the real good stuff doesn’t even start until about thirty minutes before the film ends. It also doesn’t help that they show you who the killer is 40 minutes into the film, which as far as I’m concerned, defeats the purpose of even watching movies like this. The other thing that was really funny about this movie, is the way they try to use a lot of dreamy, atmospheric indie rock music to give this a sort of emotional Virgin Suicides vibe. One thing that I can say is that director Jacob Gentry (The Signal) definitely does have an eye for cool camerawork, but doesn’t use it to his full potential here.
Another thing that makes this movie so funny to watch is that it is so based in reality. If you’ve ever seen My Super Sweet Sixteen you would know how pathetically close to real life this movie really is. It’s truly sad. They really didn’t even have to hire a professional cast of actors to make this movie. They could have just taken footage of any of the episodes of the show and then use the actual real people and hire some guy to run around in a black robe with a mask and stage killing scenes. It might have saved them some production cash…and they could have used the new all-too-cool faux documentary Paranormal Activity gimmick and made this even more popular.
This is a movie where the end almost justifies the means. As soon as they showed the killer halfway through the movie, I basically gave up on the film. I had a really bad case of déjà vu, feeling that maybe I was being served another helping of the unbelievably horrible Prom Night remake. I say almost, because it did it’s very best to redeem itself with a witty ending that you kind of half-expect but still walk away feeling was a good attempt at being smart.
Would I recommend this to die-hard slasher fans? No way. If you’re looking for something that the non-genre fans can watch and be “safely” scared by, then DVR this thing one of the million times they’re replaying it on MTV and serve it up on Halloween to them. For die-hard slasher fans, the only thing this is good for is a night of making fun of it with a group of friends or to help put you to sleep after eating a bunch of candy you stole from your kids or kid brother from their trick-or-treating stash.