Cherry Falls (2000)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy, Satire, Slasher Film  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jeremy Wheeler

Of all the teen slasher flicks that premiered after the wildly successful Scream series (Urban Legend, etc.), Cherry Falls will possibly go down as one of the most creative, but sadly unseen ones in the bunch. By switching the virginal roles to the victims (going against almost 20 years of horror history), Romper Stomper director Geoffrey Wright twists the conventions of the genre to an entirely fun new level. Leading the pack of horny teens is a young Brittany Murphy, playing up the cute goth girl angle (for all the dirty, old fright fans out there). She's wide-eyed enough to carry the story, but also shows some mean ferocity when the scream-queen side needs to come out (a pleasant surprise when the scene hits). Adding to the fun is James Cameron compadre Michael Biehn, in a multi-layered part that makes this performance not just some throw-away, straight-to-video role (which he'd been resigned to at this point). In fact, if you add up the smarts of the script with the quality cast and deft direction, it's amazing that the film skipped the big screen at all. While not exactly the Holy Grail of slasher releases of the time, it's a film that audiences would've eaten up, given the chance. With a few great scares, some brutal killings (it direly needs an uncut release), and one outrageous ending that can't be forgotten, Cherry Falls is an unsung horror gem that will unfortunately have to find its audience in time.