Film Review: Bad Kids Go to Hell

A cute cast enlivens this body-count picture set in a snooty high school, but once you get past the formulaic clichés, there's nothing there but more clichés.

It opens with a bang: Cops with drawn guns storm into a wood-paneled school library to find bodies everywhere and handsome teenager Matt Clark (Cameron Deane Stewart) holding a bloody axe. Looks like a cut-and-dried case of rich kids gone wild. Or is it?

A hotbed of gossip girls and stuck-up boys, Crestview Academy cuts its sleek, pampered students a lot of slack in return for the fat checks their ultra-wealthy parents write every year. But there are limits, and seven members of the student body have overstepped their boundaries. Their punishment: a whole day locked in the library, writing essays about their beloved school's illustrious history and hissing at one another like cats in a burlap sack. Oh, and the library is supposed to be haunted by the spirit of an old Apache man who was forced out of his home so Crestview could build this very library on land that belonged to his tribe until they were all slaughtered by soldiers under the command of one General Clark. And yes, Matt is his descendent—funny coincidence, that. Or is it?

Anyway, Matt is in serious detention—as in, they're stripped of their cell-phones and the library computers don’t even have an Internet connection—with coked-up Tricia (Ali Faulkner), student athlete Craig (Roger Edwards), Goth-girl Veronica (Augie Duke), exhibitionist Megan (Amanda Alch) and nerdy Tarek (Marc Donato), and curiously enough—their various transgressions against school propriety aside—their parents all played a part in the construction of the library. Now that can't be a coincidence...especially when they start dying, one by one, in bizarre and grisly ways.

Bad Kids Go to Hell is classic slasher-movie stuff with a little supernatural—or is it?—hokum added in for variety, and as such it's serviceable. Not inspired or genre-changing, but brisk and diverting enough to satisfy undemanding horror fans.