Director: Joseph Kahn
Produced by: Richard Weager and MaryAnne Tanedo
Writers: Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Spencer Locke, Shanley Caswell, Walter Perez, and Erica Shaffer
It’s another year at Grizzly Lake High School for Riley (Shanley Caswell), a clever but cynical social outcast who is the unrequited love object of Sander (Aaron David Johnson), who is even less popular and more sexually frustrated than she is. Meanwhile, ironically named hipster Clapton (Josh Hutcherson) is head over heels for Ione (Spencer Locke), a beautiful but self-absorbed cheerleader. All four are waiting out their final year of high school, but it’s anyone’s guess if they’ll ever see graduation, as a serial killer known as Cinderhella is on the loose and preying on Grizzly Lake’s student body. The principal (Dane Cook) is certain Cinderhella is a disgruntled student and figures he can keep the prom from turning into a bloodbath by putting the likely suspects in all-day detention on the day of the big dance.
Detention premiered March 2011 in Austin, Texas at South by Southwest (SXSW) which is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences held annually since 1987. Big things are known to come out of it and, from all the signs, Detention could just be one of them.
You’ve heard the phrase ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’, right? Well, thanks to Detention, how about a movie genre that gives you a horror film, a sci-fi film, a teen movie and a whodunnit story all in the same place? It is a film that takes on a multitude of tropes, combines them with laughs, and does so very knowingly. If this gets the support of the studios, theatres and – most importantly – the viewers I think that it could feasibly be the ‘next big thing’. However it is only getting a limited cinema release in the US, from 13th April onwards so I really, really hope that it gets picked up for UK distribution sooner, rather than later.
… the fact that Josh Hutcherson is in it, and is now part of the hit Hunger Games series of books/films, gives me a flicker of hope that Detention may ride of the coat tails of by Suzanne Collins work in order to take its own, well-deserved place in cult film fame.