Movies that are based on comic books and graphic novels are very hit-and-miss these days. Some adaptations are excellent, such as most Marvel movies made in the past decade, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, and even THE WALKING DEAD. Others, however, miss the mark completely; I’m talking specifically about films like BATMAN & ROBIN, FANTASTIC FOUR (both films), and SPAWN.
Thankfully, the recent film adaptation of BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is on the first list. I confess I didn’t see the previous film, BAD KIDS GO TO HELL (also based on a graphic novel), however you needn’t see it before watching this one; it works perfectly well as a stand-alone.
BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is a darkly humorous trek into violence and revenge. It’s got some great gore and some inventive ways of “offing” people. And while I’d technically classify it as a horror-comedy, it’s still a fun, cringe-inducing, and vicious foray into madness.
If you are not familiar with BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
Based on the best-selling graphic novel series, a group of spoiled “bad kids” have been placed in Saturday detention at the prestigious Crestview Academy. After one of the kids locks away their teacher, they find themselves trapped in school with no way out, wondering who (or what) set them up. Their ranks quickly dwindle as each falls victim to a gruesome “accident” while trying to escape.
I had A LOT of fun with this film. Prior to watching it, I was vaguely familiar with the comic, therefore I knew a little bit of what to expect. But nothing could prepare me for the all-out mayhem that ensues right from the start.
BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is shot well and looks great onscreen. The production value appears high, and the crew seems to do a great job utilizing the budget. I like how they didn’t spare much expense on the special effects. The gore is nice and effective, which in turn makes the movie more fun.
The acting is adequate for the film, although I don’t think anybody will win any awards for it. Sammi Hanratty does a fine job as the main character, Siouxsie. Drake Bell, who fans of Nickelodeon will remember from Drake & Josh, is pretty good as slacker Ben. Even Sean Astin, who plays Headmaster Nash, does a decent job. But even so, nobody really shines.
That doesn’t detract much from the film, because BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is all about being bad, and the kids from Crestview are good at it. I love how the traditional stereotypes are all present in the cast, yet no one is safe from having an “accident”. And when the fatalities happen, they are over-the-top and entertaining. There’s a nice dose of carnage for gore-hounds, while fans of the “whodunit” aspect should also be entertained.
BAD KIDS OF CRESTVIEW ACADEMY is a win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. It’s schlocky, dark-hearted fun, so be prepared to wince as you laugh. The film is available today in a variety of formats.