Follow TV Tropes


Film / Sorority Row

Go To

Sorority Row is a 2009 film about the ragtag bunch of dumb, promiscuous sorority sisters of Theta Pi who, on the night of one of the biggest sorority parties of the year, plan to prank Garrett, the ex-boyfriend who dumped their friend Megan (Audrina Patridge) for another woman. They plan to do so by telling Garrett that Megan overdosed on a drug he gave her and died, with Megan faking death herself. Of course, shit happens and Garrett kills Megan, taking the suggestion of one of the girls to stab her with a tire iron and dump her in a lake inside a mine so nobody finds out. Everybody pledges to never reveal the details of Megan's death, so obviously somebody finds out, I Know What You Did Last Summer-style, and starts killing off each of the sisters (and Garrett) using the same tire iron used to kill Megan in a fit of revenge, presumably because it would make the killings more ironic.

A loose remake of the Cult Classic horror film The House on Sorority Row.

Contains examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Andy.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Mickey tries to escape this way. It fails horribly.
  • All Guys Want Sorority Women: The movie pretty much survives on this. The whole point of the film is to make XY members of the audience pay to see sorority women, lingerie, and blood.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Chugs sleeps with many men, and seems to think Jessica giving mouth to mouth to Megan is hot.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: When Jessica and Cass find Mickey, after abovementioned escape.
    Jessica: Do you think it's the same tire iron that killed Megan?
    Cass: You make it sound like the tire iron killed Megan by itself.
  • Ankle Drag: Claire is sent to turn off the overheating Jacuzzi, which has created a giant mass of bubbles, while her sorority sisters go into the house. Soon thereafter, appears at a glass door, begging to be let inside after apparently being chased by the Killer. Unknown to her, a thick wire has become tangled around her ankle, and before the other characters can get to her, she is violently dragged off to her death.
  • Asshole Victim: Almost everyone really; maybe one or two of the victims are somewhat sympathetic but most are clearly horrible people. The killer even explicitly details this as part of his motive. He says this is especially true in Mickey's case. The others had to die because they knew the truth about Megan's death, he admits that Mickey might not have known, but was too much of an asshole to live anyway.
    • The plot is set in motion because the girls wanted revenge on Garrett... except as one of the sisters points out to Megan "Didn't you cheat on him first?" The soon-to-be-murder victim contemptuously waves away these "details".
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Two of the girls start talking about the dead friend no one was supposed to know about in the middle of the bathroom. Surprisingly, they weren't alone. All this led to the death of the unlucky eavesdropper.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Subverted with Andy, who kills Kyle when he attacks Cassidy. It's a subverted example because 1) while he wanted to save Cassidy, he also wanted to kill Kyle because he knew that Cassidy was involved in Megan's murder, and 2) he's the killer.
    • Played straight with Ellie, who shoots Andy when he attempts to kill Cassidy.
  • Bitch Alert: Each of the sorority sisters from their opening scene. Of course Cass, Ellie and eventually Claire turn out to not be as bad.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The main girls - Jessica, Cassidy and Ellie.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Cass and Jessica find Megan's decayed body in the shower. Jessica's response? "Oh, she looks terrible".
  • Bondage Is Bad: One of the first few fatalities is first seen Chained to a Bed.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ellie, after Mickey's death.
  • Can't Tie His Tie: Cassie unties Andy's tie on the pretext that he has put it on wrong and she is going to retie it for him. However, she then pulls him down on to the bed.
  • Car Fu: Happens to Garrett. He lives.
  • Catfight: Jessica and Maggie, after the latter claims to have slept with the former's boyfriend.
  • Central Theme: The bonds of sisterhood, its benefits, and its limits are emphasized more in this film than its progenitor.
  • Chained to a Bed: Chugs arrives at her therapist's to find him handcuffed to the bed by one wrist; his last session apparently not having gone as he had planned it.
  • Chekhov's Gift: Mrs Crenshaw gives each of the graduating girls a bracelet, with 22 links signifying the 22 sisters. Cassie is later saved from plummeting to fiery death when her bracelet snags on nail. The girls who removed their bracelets and discarded them (Jessica, Chugs and Claire) all die at the hands of the slasher.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The bracelet that Cass got from Mrs. Crenshaw winds up saving her life. The shotgun that Mrs Crenshaw reloads just before she is stabbed comes in handy when Ellie saves Cass from Andy. Mickey's offhanded comment that Claire pouring bubbles into the hot tub will damage the jets, which it does later that night and indirectly leads to Claire's death when she tries to turn it off.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind:
    • Kyle deals Jess one in the face and is about to kill Cass, when Andy puts the axe into his head.
    • Just as Andy is about to cut off Cassidy's finger to make her fall into the flaming pit beneath her, Ellie shoots him from behind.
  • Cool Big Sis: Megan was apparently this to Maggie. Cassidy to Ellie, for a non-biologically related example.
    • Chugs to Garrett.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: When Cassie explores the old mine shaft, she finds the blanket Megan's body had been wrapped in, but no sign of the body. Written on the wall in blood are the words "THETA PI MUST DIE".
  • Crapsack World: See Asshole Victim.
  • Deadly Prank: The event that sets the plot in motion. The sorority sisters, to get revenge for Garret cheating on Megan, pretend she died in order to scare him, only for them to tell him to cut up the body, resulting in him stabbing the still-alive Megan to death with a tire iron. In response, they hide her body down a mineshaft and plan to pin the whole thing on Cassidy if she tries to tell the police, forcing her to participate in the coverup.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jessica.
    Cassidy: Does anyone have a weapon? Mace? Anything?
    Jessica: Yeah, there's a chainsaw in the glove box.
    • Cassidy is also shown to be so: "I love you, Jessica because you make being a bitch an art form."
  • Dead Star Walking: Audrina Patridge.
  • Death by Irony: Chugs' death.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: An hour and a half with mostly jerks and a lot of idiots.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Yes, pretending your friend died is a very unwise action, especially when you ask the prank victim, who is clearly losing his mind, to carve up the body.
  • Disney Villain Death: The killer plunges through the floor into the blazing basement.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Faking one's own death is probably not the most suitable way to get revenge against a cheating boyfriend. Of course, said boyfriend's reaction certainly does not help.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Practically every female character dies by having something violently shoved into their mouths.
  • Dr. Jerk: Doctor Rosenberg, who exchanges drugs for sexual favors.
  • Dramatic Drop: Ellie drops her glass of champagne when she thinks she sees Megan (who is supposed to be dead) at the sorority luncheon. It turns out to be Megan's sister Maggie.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Cassidy's boyfriend Andy is revealed to be the killer, and that he killed everyone so Cassidy would not be charged with Megan's murder. When he asks if she is with him, she says yes. Until he says they're going to kill Ellie, then she immediately objects. Though to be fair Ellie was clearly nicer than any of the victims, and Cassidy was probably saying that to placate him anyway.
  • Expy: The killer's appearance and motivation brings to mind Ben Willis.
  • Extreme Doormat: Claire and until the end, Ellie. Both even lampshade their statuses as such.
  • Eye Awaken: Garrett in the alternate ending.
  • Faking the Dead: The prank the girls play on Garrett involves Megan pretending to die from a drug overdose, and the others convincing Garrett this is all his fault. Turns into a case of Gone Horribly Right.
  • Fanservice Faux Fight: The film opens with a party that includes three sisters having a pillow fight on a trampoline, wearing onesies that leave their butts exposed. In slow motion.
  • Final Girl: Played With. On the one hand, Cassidy is very clearly written as a traditional final girl and does survive the film. On the other, Ellie and Maggie both make it through the film with her when normally one would only expect one girl or a guy and girl to survive. Additionally, while Ellie is virginal and fairly good-natured, Maggie is snarky, kinda bitchy, and has sex. Not your typical horror survivor.
  • Frame-Up: The girls most involved in the coverup of Megan's death make it clear that they'll frame Cassidy for the murder. She realizes it when they say they won't tell anyone about how she killed Megan with the tire iron.
  • Genre Shift: The first part of the film is pretty much played straight like any other slasher film. As soon as the murders start happening it shifts into Black Comedy territory.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Chugs' reaction to Jessica pretending to give mouth-to-mouth to Megan is to say "That is so hot".
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Chugs' death, combined with Slashed Throat.
  • He Knows Too Much: Andy's motive in committing the murders is that he wanted to start a new life with Cassidy, but that would require killing everyone who knew the secret (even if told indirectly, such as Mrs. Crenshaw and Maggie).
  • Hollywood Fire: The final confrontation between the killer and the final girls takes place inside the burning sorority house. Nobody treats the blaze as anything more than a minor annoyance. Especially egregious as the girls are dressed in only lingerie and flimsy shirts.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The murders start on Graduation Day.
  • Idiot Ball: The entire group of girls. First, because they fake a girl's death which leads directly to her actual death and second because they decide to blame the murder on Cassidy because she wanted to confess. One of the girls doesn't want to blame the actual murderer because he's her brother and it was an accident, which could be sort of justified. However, every other character immediately agrees with her idea for no explained reason.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Megan's death.
    • Mrs Crenshaw manages to dodge the bladed lug wrench when it is thrown at her, and it buries itself in the wall behind her. When she moves to keep the killer in sight, she places he back against one of the spikes which is sticking out. Seeing this, the killer kicks the heavy kitchen table into her. This drives her back on to the spike, driving the spike through her so it comes out of her chest. She still manages to keep fighting.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The villain uses a lug wrench with innumerable blades jutting out of it. And it's collapsible.
  • Improbable Weapon: The "pimped-out tire iron", used sometimes as a simple three-pronged stabbing-implement, sometimes as a disk-of-death, and at one point as a Killer Yoyo. Gotta give 'em an A for creativity.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. The shotgun blast doesn't instantly kill Andy, but falling into a flaming pit certainly did.
  • Jerkass: The great majority of the cast. In fact, only Cassidy, Ellie, Maggie and Mrs. Crenshaw seem to be non-jerkasses, and only one of them gets killed.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jessica points out that Cassidy can't be Holier Than Thou than her because if she wanted to be that, she would've called the police about Megan's death at any time between the murder and graduation day. Except that the girls who participated in it had made it clear that they would paint her as Megan's killer if she did.
  • Jitter Cam
  • Karmic Death: Jessica, who constantly tries to fast-talk or snark her way out of a situation, gets a tire iron shoved into her mouth.
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: The main girls find Garret at the scene of Megan's death after the killer calls them, blackmailing them into returning. Suspecting Garret of being the killer due to his being at the original scene of the crime as well as covered in blood and generally acting crazy (in reality he was grieving and cutting himself), they hit him with their car, seemingly killing him... until he seemingly reappears at the end. Sequel Hook?
  • Killer Yoyo: The bladed lug wrench is upgraded to this when some rope is attached to it during the final fight.
  • The Lad-ette: Chugs has elements of this, being hard drinking (hence the nickname), sexually aggressive and having poor personal hygiene ("You taste like vomit", quoth one boy after she sticks her tongue down his throat). It gets to the point her answering machine instructs callers to leave a message after the *BURP*.
  • Mama Bear/Never Mess with Granny: Mrs. Crenshaw.
  • Modesty Towel: Subverted when one girl is forced to remove her towel and walk back to her room (on the other side of the unrealistically large dorm building). The girl runs back in the buff gleefully (because she probably had to go get ready for one of the sex parties).
  • Molotov Cocktail: Used to set the house on fire.
  • Moral Myopia: Megan decides to pull a prank on her boyfriend Garrett because he cheated on her. When it's pointed out she cheated on him first, she waves this off.
  • Mythology Gag: When Cassidy attempts to save Claire from the killer, she grabs a walking cane with a sharp edge to protect herself, which was the weapon in the original film.
    • Additionally, there’s a scene where Ellie goes into the sorority house’s basement and turns on a light. In the original, Stevie went into the pool house basement to turn off pool lights, turns off a light, and became the first victim.
    • In both films, most of the girls come to believe that the person killed in the prank isn’t actually dead. In both instances, they’re wrong.
  • The Oner: The entire opening sequence is a single uninterrupted take weaving between extras enjoying a party at the Theta Pi sorority house where most of the leads get their Establishing Character Moments. It finally cuts away once all the leads are together in a room for a toast.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Chugs.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Jessica and Cassie are startled when they discover Megan's corpse hanging in the shower as they attempt to escape through the closed-off wing of the house.
  • Pinned to the Wall: Jessica dies standing up; pinned to the wall by the lug wrench impaled through her mouth.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mrs. Crenshaw has apparently turned a blind eye to about five times the shenanigans she's had to deal with herself.
  • Red Herring: Garrett and Maggie.
  • The Remake: Loose remake of The House on Sorority Row (respectably noted in the credits as being based on the same script).
  • Screaming Woman: Ellie.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Kyle tries pulling this on Jessica, resulting in an epic Insult Backfire.
  • Sex Signals Death:
    • All the girls have sex but Cassidy is the most chaste which is why she's Final Girl.
    • Ellie, another character who survives, mentions being a virgin in one scene.
    • Subverted with Maggie, who has sex with Jessica’s boyfriend Kyle and still manages to survive.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Doctor Rosenberg's death.
  • Shower Scene: One about midway through the film where Claire and Jessica discuss Megan’s death. A schoolmate of theirs overhears this conversation and is promptly murdered by the killer, who had been stalking the showers.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: Mrs Crenshaw breaks up a second Cat Fight before it can start by firing a shotgun into the ceiling.
  • Sinister Sorority Sisters: The sisters participate in a prank to scare Garrett for cheating on Megan by faking her death and convincing Garrett it was all his fault. This is in spite of the fact that Megan cheated on him first, and the prank goes wrong, killing Megan. When Cassidy tries to object, the other girls (who are mainly assholes) threaten to pin the murder on her if she doesn't comply.
  • Slashed Throat: Most of the killer's murders involve stabbing and/or slicing the throat.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: None of the survivors are blondes.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Jessica and Cassie really can't stand each other. However, they are forced to work together if they are to stand any chance of getting out of the sorority house alive.
  • Token Minority: Claire. It's even lampshaded.
    Jessica: Claire, I like being your friend because it makes me multicultural, without having to do anything.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ellie, at the very end.
  • Tuckerization: The setting is called Rosman College, Rosman being the surname of the original film’s writer and director.
  • Two-Person Pool Party: Claire and Mickey have sex in the sorority's Jacuzzi after Claire has filled it with bubble bath.
  • Unflinching Walk: At the end.
  • Villainous Rescue: Andy kills Kyle just as he's about to kill Cass.
  • Wacky Fratboy Hijinx: Wacky Sorority Girl Hijinx
  • Wrench Whack: The villain uses a lug wrench with innumerable blades jutting out of it. And it's collapsible.
  • You Just Told Me: Invoked when Mrs. Crenshaw apprehends the girls with a shotgun - for trashing the house, rather than the business with all those dead teens.