My Super Psycho Sweet 16 2009 Review
My Super Psycho Sweet 16 2009
Directed by: Jacob Gentry
Starring: Julianna Guill, Lauren McKnight, Chris Zylka
Review by Luisito Joaquín González
The old school horror enthusiasts who were watching cinema during and before the golden age of the slasher flick are not the biggest fans of this newer wave of entries. With their rock video fast cuts, silicone implanted heroines and perfectly groomed cast members; they call them, MTV horror. That term applies, even if they have no production link to the popular TV channel, so imagine what they’d make of a slasher developed by MTV themselves.
As the company has expanded with popularity over the years, it has moved away from just focusing on music and has entered the competitive worlds of drama, movies and reality television. One such show is, My Super Sweet 16, which takes a look at spoiled, money no object kids and their lack of a grasp on the struggle of the everyday person who goes about their life on a modest budget. It conveys how these mega rich parents move the earth to fund elaborate parties for their children’s sixteenth birthday bashes and although the show is fairly rubbish (boasting a 1.9 rating on the IMDB), it is an interesting social study of how the other half live.
What better way would there be for MTV to poke its tongue at the style that it’s accused of inadvertently creating, by taking the level of conceitedness to the maximum and making a motion picture version of their reality hit. In an attempt to rekindle the vibe brought to the screen a decade earlier with Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend and the like, My Super Psycho Sweet 16 chucks in a masked killer and goes for the jugular. It was a brave effort from the channel and one that I guess they knew would meet with disapproval from those already against their input to the styling of current horror
It’s rolling up to the self-centred Madison’s sixteenth birthday. Her dad has pushed the boat and re-opened the local Roller Dome, which was closed many years ago after a young girl’s father murdered a group of teenagers. The killer’s daughter, Skye, is now at school with Madison, but she falls in to her bad books by finding chemistry with her ex-boyfriend, Brigg.
On the night of the party, Skye and her friend decide to gate crash the celebration. Unbeknownst to them, a maniac in a mask has the same idea and the blood begins to flow…
As you probably expected from a MTV picture, My Super Psycho Sweet 16 has a neat soundtrack and a flush well financed look. It benefits from some nice visuals and exciting sequences from director Jacob Gentry. He makes good use of the Roller Dome location, but unlike Gutterballs, unfortunately he didn’t include related appliances and incorporate them in to the murders. I was hoping for a rehash of the notorious ‘skate and slash’ sequence from Curtains, but you can never be sure nowadays if directors even base their output on eighties films or whether they just check out the more recent cycle inclusions. There’s no attempt here to add anything to the traditional trappings and its content to stick to the rulebook, which is absolutely fine by me. Despite this being a TV movie, the unrated cut has a few gruesome killings with decent effects and there’s a neat decapitation, which sees a body with a spurting stump stumble straight in to Madison’s exhibitionistic birthday cake! There’s another killing early on, which sees a pool cue rammed through a youngster’s head and the bogeyman has a decent mask/cape disguise. There’s some good suspense and couple of scares and an excellent slow-mo scene that I really enjoyed.
Super Psycho is not the travesty that people would have expected, because it is quite intelligent and in fact pokes fun at the style it is accused of creating. They make the characters so awfully arrogant that you want them to get splattered and you can smile when indeed they do; viciously. Lauren McKnight was fine as the final girl and I liked Matt Angel as the geeky Derek too. I absolutely loathed Julianna Guill’s Madison, which was the whole idea, so kudos to her for making the most of the role. In fact, the cast all did a relatively good job with their parts and created the right moods for the audience.
Whereas Halloween was not a whodunit, the modern day slashers are almost always given a mysterious angle to their plot lines. I thought that I had worked this one out, but low and behold it got me and I guess it could be considered rule bending against the more recent theme, Again, that’s ok with me, because it was done well. The momentum wilts a bit during the mid-section, where we get an overload of teen-romance and character development. It’s not as boring as it could be though and things flow quite fluidly throughout. It was one of those where I really wanted to know who was under the mask and I haven’t had that feeling for a while.
I can’t really compare this against the old skool slashers, because it is in every sense of the word a modern day take on the formula. It seeks to be classified alongside Scream and the like and it sits there quite comfortably. If you hated I know What You Did Last Summer and Urban Legend, then don’t bother with this, but I rather enjoyed it. There was surprisingly very little I could find to dislike here and everything that I did was intentional and the director dealt with it well. Give it a shot and it’s easy to find…
Final Girl √√