17-year-old Riley Jones must survive her final year of high school. The problem is that she has been sentenced to detention on the night of her prom, her friends are apparently being murdered by the fictional villain of a horror film series, and worst of all, the boy with whom she’s in love is infatuated with her biggest rival. It becomes a race against time to save the world as she knows it.
Based on this description, I was expecting a B-horror movie. Detention turned out to be so much better than that expectation.
Detention is a meta-tribute to teen comedy and horror films, as well as the 90s. There are clear references to The Breakfast Club, Scream, The Fly, Freaky Friday and so many more. I love when films (or any media) lovingly, and jokingly, reference other things. It gives the film another layer, and a game I can play during a second (or third, or fourth) viewing.
Not only does Detention make tribute to previous films, it also captures the quick, ADHD nature of today’s youth. Characters spew rapid-fire references and quips as the story careens at texting speeds. While I enjoyed this for the most part, sometimes things moved a little too fast to catch everything.
Overall I found Detention to be hilarious and not scary at all. I will definitely be purchasing this film and watching it several more times. However, I find it difficult to recommend to a general audience. Detention is destined to become a cult film. I know many people will tire of the references. Others will despise the overall attitude and ridiculousness. And some people are looking for another Josh Hutcherson movie—which is much different from his previous work. If you enjoy comedy-horror benders, or cult films, I give a tentative recommendation.
What were your thoughts on Detention? What do you think of cross-genre films? Let me know in the comments below.