Today’s lesson: Don’t judge a movie by its blurb. I read the words “fraternity” and “sorority” and my interest began to wane.
Glad I toughed it out. The Hazing is a first-rate, low-budg, sloppy kiss tribute to (surprise, surprise) Sam Raimi and The Evil Dead.
Nutshell: Two gals and three dudes pledging to brother-sister houses must complete a Halloween scavenger hunt and bring all their items to Hack House, a local mansion of the haunted variety.
Note: Bruce Campbell’s picture makes an appearance as one of the items the pledges must roundup on the scavenger hunt, for Pete’s sake.
Another needful thing is a potent grimoire of dark magic that’s in the possession of mysterious Professor Kapps (Brad Dourif). They grab the book, a demon is summoned, and so begins a night of Raimi-esque chaos, confusion, and high-voltage hack and stack.
And Brad Dourif kills (literally!) as the mad professor, providing a sturdy dramatic foundation for his less polished costars.
I was thoroughly entertained by The Hazing, mostly because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Delia (Nectar Rose), shouts, “I wasn’t planning to stay out all night killing my friends!” when an evil spirit possesses her fellow pledges.
Fortunately, the goofy tone doesn’t diminish the horror action. It’s got a pedal-to-the-metal pace, decent body count, naked interludes, and scaredy-cat nerd Tim (Perry Shen), ends up a hero of sorts.
Tim proudly takes a moment of screen time to tell his fellow cast members why he isn’t a stereotype geek. “I don’t work with computers, I don’t like video games, and I’m not a virgin,” he insists. “I lost my cherry when I was 15!”
The Hazing is very much in keeping with this statement. It’s not what you think it is. It’s way better.