This movie could have been one of the better representations of how high school students torture one another regularly and how tough high school really is, but in the end, it came off as a very awkward and somehow half-baked attempt at creating a movie that might have been meant to make a point. When a group of high school students is set to go on a field trip, it becomes evident that everyone has their own place and that they’re not supposed to deviate from it. The field trip is cut short when a sudden burst of blood impacts the bus window, leaving the driver, Wayne, to veer off the road and into the surrounding woods. While at first, it doesn’t appear that anyone is injured too badly, apart from a broken nose that’s suffered by one student, a stranger dressed in punk rock garb appears out of the woods and proceeds to maul the teacher that was serving as the chaperone, leaving the other kids to run for their lives. While the strange assailant nabs a couple of the students, the others get away and manage to find cover in what looks like an abandoned building.
Some movies lean into their stereotypes, this movie knocks them over and keeps going.
The nerdy kids, the jocks, the popular girls, the friendships that swing on a pendulum from minute to minute, all of it reeks of high school hierarchy and stereotypes that get transferred from one movie to another like some type of social disease that has no known antidote. Apart from the very predictable roles though, it does become evident that the jocks are going to be allowed to stand as the saviors of the group since they end up having the best ideas and the easiest time accepting their situation. However, Ever, the female lead of the movie, eventually comes around to become one of the saner heads that prevail as she and the others try to survive the strange, zombie-like creature that attacked them and turned their classmates.
You know how the quiet loner can be the good guy or the bad guy?
Two of the loners, as well as the underestimated individuals, Randall and Steven, are the kind of guys that you might want to pull for no matter that they represent just as big of a stereotype as anyone in this movie. But the thing about these two is that it becomes easy to see how they’re a little too overplayed at some point in the movie. Not only do they end up becoming a bit aggressive within the story, but it also happens that instead of being the unsung heroes, they’re the villains, and they’re not alone in this endeavor. When the reveal finally comes, it’s not that big of a surprise since the two individuals have already started acting in ways that could be deemed suspicious. By the time the plan is unveiled, it’s tough not to think of them as absolute scum that might have had a reason to do such a thing as terrorizing their classmates but are actually kind of pathetic since their plan is shortsighted in a way that’s hard not to laugh at.
The plan to ‘create’ zombies is kind of hilarious.
Zombie movies range from dumb and ridiculous to absolutely epic, but this one barely classifies since it has the appearance of a zombie movie, but is revealed to be a giant hoax when all is said and done since the initial zombie that attacks the counselor and the kids on the bus end up being a burnout that had an ax to grind, while the bus driver is in on the trick as well. When Ever finds out while in a drug-induced stupor, she attacks and escapes Steven and Randall and then finds the rest of her friends. It’s later revealed that one of the loners was intent on being the hero of this particular excursion and had every intention of making everyone realize that he was a hero without question. When he’s exposed, he’s given the same drug that is administered to the other students to turn them into violent individuals that have the appearance of zombies.
How this movie made it this far is hard to say.
There were some interesting moments in the movie that weren’t quite as play-by-predictable play as they could have been, but overall it felt like a paint-by-numbers project that relied too heavily on simple tones and not enough interesting plot twists. Had it been given any further respect than it already has, it would be proof that critics don’t know nearly as much as they think and that the future of Hollywood might be in jeopardy.
It was good for a few laughs.