The Frightening (2001)
Director: David DeCoteau
review by Trent Walters
Pan across a California beach somewhere near Hollywood...
Writer [dripping wet with surfboard in hand]:
Dudes! You're that famous producer/director pair of Hollywood B movies.
Producer [nonchalant, breathes on and shines fingernails]:
I got this totally gnarly idea for flick. It's about these high-schoolers...
Director [turns over to sunburn back]:
Everybody's got ideas, kid; they're cheap -
Wait, David. I think this kid's on to something. Please, continue. It has high
Yeah, dude. And they're going to high school.
Director [voice muffled in towel]:
What are your credentials?
I just graduated from high school so I know firsthand what it's like. Plus I was
the photographer for the Yearbook.
Producer [leans forward in lawn chair]:
Impressive. And these high school students, are they in their underwear?
Duh. You�ve got to wear something under your clothes.
I mean, do they walk around in their underwear... at school.
Oh, you mean like in a dream. Of course. It's a totally hot babe -
Producer [loses interest]:
But she's only in a slip surrounded by a bunch of bare-chested guys in - get this -
Producer [eyes roll to back of head, considering
cinematic climactic possibilities]:
Director [flips back to his back]:
Oh, come on. What's the freaking plot?
The high school is not what it seems.
That�s a plot? It's been done.
The Faculty, 1998.
This high school was blown up in 1925 but that's the whole mystery. You see?
No, I don't see.
The building wasn't blown up...
...with the same principal, the same students, and the same
janitor. Students transfer from all over the world just to go to this one school...
I don't know...
David, you want to work in this town again?
I'll have you know directors have ethics and principles, Mr Producer. That said,
we'd certainly have to nix the janitor. It's way too over the top. And I refuse to do it without the
aid of established professionals like Robert Donovan of Murdercycle and Brinke Stevens of
Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity and Bimbo Movie Bash.
Producer [sighs, pulls out checkbook]:
You drive a hard bargain.
There you have it: the stillbirth of another teen movie. The most frightening thing about The
Frightening is that one by one, the eight other audience members who sat with your reviewer
disappeared until finally the reviewer turned around to ask if anyone really wanted to watch this
movie. But the audience had all disappeared! Okay, the reviewer exaggerates. One other person
remained and she suggested watching the serviceable-but-never-watch-again three-star Ocean's
The dialogue consists of exposition lumps to fill us in on the back story. Not one
moment of suspense or horror or even an atmosphere of horror exists. The horror consists solely of
blood pouring out of people's mouths. It's not even punk enough to be christened splatterpunk. None
of the actors can act so the screenwriter writes it into the script that everyone in town is a
zombie. One by one the scumbags of school get killed off by the jocks, and the Principal and police
are in on the entire scheme. You can tell by the anticlimax that this is just another idea gone awry
in the hands of moviemakers.
Is there a reason to see this movie? Are you a homosexual male or straight female
into soft jail-bait porn? Unfortunately, those who potentially fell into this interest group claimed
the sexy scenes weren�t terribly sexy.