Varsity Blood is written and directed by Jake Helgren (Bloody Homecoming), who has only a few films to his name and displays his lack of experience admirably here.
The film tells the story of a group of high-schoolers in a small town. We have the obligatory meat headed jocks and football players, mindlessly attended by hordes of squealing, brain dead cheerleaders in skimpy outfits.
In true horror film style, our intrepid teenagers decide that it is a good idea to venture out to an abandoned (yet suspiciously well appointed and clean) farmhouse away from the eyes of anyone who might feel inclined to rescue them should they require it. Which, this being a teen slasher flick, is a given.
But I rush ahead. Before we reach this thrilling section of the film, we must have the premise explained to us, at great length, by anyone and everyone who happens to be on the screen. I realize that sometimes in a teen horror film, the complexity of the story needs to be aimed at the lowest common denominator. But even by those standards, Varsity Blood is pretty insulting to the intelligence.
Equally annoying are the continual veiled references to dark and dangerous pasts, which when finally revealed turn out to be either about as interesting as a trip to Waitrose (other supermarkets are available) or so cliched that you really wish they hadn’t bothered.
Basically, it’s Halloween and there are a group of jocks and cheerleaders alone in the woods, being hunted by their school mascot (who mysteriously grows a foot and a half taller without anyone noticing), armed with a bow and arrow and an axe.
For a film which claims inventive kills, this has less variety of violence than your average Disney production, and at least with Disney it isn’t all filmed in the dark so that you can’t see any of the action anyway. Clearly no-one involved has seen any of the Final Destination franchise.
I won’t shame the actors (or people, I think might be a better description) by saying who played who. The acting wasn’t even bad, there just wasn’t any. Just a bunch of people reading out a very badly written string of sentences. It does star (if that’s the correct word for it) Lexi Giovagnoli (Bloody Homecoming, 3 Times A Charm), Wesley Scott (A Teacher, Deep In The Heart) and Debbie Rochon (Bleed, Santa Claws). If these people are hoping to further their career using this as a platform, they are probably pitching their tents in the wrong camp.
In summary, the script is diabolical, the story is unoriginal, the acting is utterly uninspiring and the whole thing is a bit of a waste of time and energy. Die hard fans of the genre may just enjoy this, but I consider myself to be one of those and I didn’t. I guess people will have to make their own judgments.
Varsity Blood is available to buy now on DVD.