CHERRY FALLS (2000)

Directed By: Geoffrey Wright 
Written By: Ken Selden 
Cinematography By: Anthony B. Richmond 
Editor: John F. Link 

Cast: Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn, Jesse Bradford, Jay Mohr, Candy Clark, Bre Blair, Gabriel Mann, Douglas Spain, Natalie Ramsey, Kristen Miller, Michael Weston, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Clementine Ford 

A psychotic serial slasher starts a bloodthirsty murder rampage at Cherry Falls high school that only kills the local high school virgins. This leads to the local teenage population organizing a sex party in order to lose their virginity and thus no longer be targets


I am shocked I never reviewed this sooner. This is a film that usually is bright up every once in a while. it has a great premise that never seems to get a chance to rise up to its full potential. As even the parts that are crazy under another set of changes could have made the film a bit more respectable rather than ridiculed. This is a film that should have been bigger than it ever got a chance to rise to.

This film was part of the SCREAM clones. Teen horror films that were self-aware. That obviously flooded the market after that film’s success. This film tries to be more satirical and ridiculous at times then becomes more suspenseful.

Unlike SCREAM isn’t as smart though it does seem self-aware. This film also tends to go over the top a bit too much. That it’s not shocking anymore but common. Despite all the problems the film had behind the scenes something feels lost as envelope-pushing as the film could have been. It’s a film that deserves a do-over

The film’s hook is that it reverses the usual trope of sex equaling death. Here we have a serial killer who hunts down virgins. once the teenagers find out they decide to have a teenage orgy at a house party. Where the end of the film takes place.

Though the film can be sexual. Not much is really show. In fact, much of the orgy scenes were cut out to be able to get an R rating rather than an X. Though the distributors weren’t convinced and pulled a theatrical release. So instead the film premiered on the USA network. Where it was cut up, even more, to play on television. Though released in its R-rated cut in Europe. Where it had mild success.

The film isn’t great but does have a good premise. Luckily it obviously has a sense of humor about itself.

The film is scary when it needs To be. Though shockingly predictable, doesn’t spare us from trying to make everyone it can into a suspect. If anything its tone and just general weirdness set it apart. It does help explain its cult status.

This film stars Brittany Murphy. One of the few films where her star quality is used to good effect. Where she has the natural goofiness, quirkiness, and sweetness she usually brings to her parts. As well as one of the few she played a lead in that is rewatchable to a degree. She in fact is the only reason I bought this film out when it was released on DVD in 2000 and on a disc that included 2 other HORROR films that seemed to also air on the USA network. Her performance seems to be day and night as at times she seems lost and goes from silly comedic to deadly serious and in one scene experienced seductress out of nowhere. Even as her character is a virgin.

Due to ongoing censorship issues with the MPAA, the film was never given a theatrical release in the United States and was released as a TV movie on the USA Network. As a result, Cherry Falls is the most expensive television movie ever produced, with a budget of around $14 million. Though it has a pedigree behind it. A rather solid cast with some strange elements.

The film actually shows comedian Jay Mohr more as a character actor rather than just a comedic presence.

The film is funny sometimes I intentionally. As it is ridiculous a lot of times and could easily become camp if the director was more on that wavelength.

Though the film has more of a 1990’s feel. It is almost the 1980’s inspired by it’s simple easy attitude.

Grade: C-