Another lovely cardboard sleeve is our introduction to HAUNTING OF CRESTVIEW HIGH, even though the impressive and imposing gothic building pictured on the front has nothing to do with the film. (For those who are interested it’s actually Chateau de Noisy aka Miranda Castle in Belgium).
Originally titled BAD KIDS GO TO HELL and marketed as a horror version of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, CRESTVIEW HIGH is all about six ghastly teenagers who are pupils at the eponymous institution and have to attend detention one Saturday afternoon. As they start to die in a variety of horrible ways it turns out that they may be victims of revenge from beyond the grave.
HAUNTING OF CRESTVIEW HIGH is a difficult one to review. The script isn't bad - it's nothing original but it tries to be clever and employ the SAW technique of dropping minor clues throughout that lead to a big reveal at the end. The main problem is the direction, which feels like another semi-amateur effort. The film also suffers from the characters themselves, who are all so awful you can't bring yourself to care about any of them. Judd Nelson turns up at a couple of points, but it’s such a long time since his John Hughes heydays that he’s not that easy to spot.
With a bit of better direction and some sense of irony this could have been cheesy but a lot of fun. As it stands, HAUNTING OF CRESTVIEW HIGH is a bit of a misfire, although if you are in detention on a rainy afternoon and are desperate for something to help pass the time you could always stare at the box art, which is very nice indeed. It does, however, appear that this has been successful enough to spawn an awkwardly-titled sequel, BAD KIDS GO 2 HELL, starring Sean Astin as the headmaster and Gina Gershon as a senator, so what do I know?
There are no extras.
HAUNTING OF CRESTVIEW HIGH is out now on Region 2 DVD from 101 Films