Today’s lesson: Don’t judge a movie by its blurb. I read the words “fraternity” and “sorority” and my interest begins to wither. Forget all about it. The Hazing is a first-rate, low-budg, sloppy kiss of a homage to (surprise, surprise) Sam Raimi and The Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell’s picture makes an appearance as one of the items the pledges must roundup on their Halloween scavenger hunt, for pete’s sake.

Nutshell: Two gals and three dudes pledging to brother-sister frat/sorority must complete a Halloween scavenger hunt and bring all their items to Hack House, a local mansion of the haunted variety. As luck would have it, one of the things they need to retrieve is a potent grimoire of dark magic that’s in the possession of Professor Kapps (Brad Dourif). They get 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.

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 the evil spirit of Professor Kapps begins possessing her fellow pledges. Fortunately, the fact that the tone is consistently light doesn’t mean the horror action suffers. It’s got a pedal-to-the-metal pace, decent body count, both comely female leads consent to nude interludes, and the scaredy-cat nerd Tim (Perry Shen), ends up a hero of sorts. Tim even takes the time to explain to his co-stars 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. 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.

Advertisements