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Bad Kids Go to Hell Movie Review

Written by Karin Crighton

A Spiderwood Studios Production


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Directed by Matthew Spradlin
Written by Matthew Spradlin and Barry Wernick 
2012, 91 minutes, Rated R
Film released on December 7th, 2012


Cameron Deane Stewart as Matthew Clark
Ali Faulkner as Tricia Wilkes
Augie Duke as Veronica Harmon
Marc Donato as Tarek Ahmed
Roger Edwards as Craig Cook
Jeffrey Schmidt as Dr. Day
Judd Nelson as Headmaster Nash
Ben Browder as Max


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Questions I jotted down while watching this movie:


“Why would a student believe the school psychologist had nothing to do with their expulsion?”


“Why are they looking around like they’ve never seen the library of the school they have all attended for at least one year?”


“Oh my God, why are we watching them go to the bathroom?”


“Why didn’t they reshoot when he missed his pants and tucked the DVDs into his shirt?”


“Why on earth did she take her top off?” [Editor’s note: Boobs]


And perhaps most unforgivably, “If it is stated and proven that all campus activities are recorded from multiple angles, does that not negate all possibilities of misunderstanding?” To say it more simply: “Didn’t you just negate your own plot?”




So there are these rich, spoiled, obnoxious students in detention for various ludicrous reasons. They all know each other and most dislike one another strongly, so thinly constructed conflict arises. They hold a seance — bear with me — and believe themselves to be trapped in detention with a ghost. So they go a little crazy and start to suspect one another of sabotage and/or murder.


To quote Ali Faulkner’s Tricia Wilkes, “This is not the fucking feel good eighties movie of the year.”


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Bad Kids Go to Hell tries to do too much with too little. The classic revenge scheme is built within another revenge scheme built within another to compensate for the oversimplified plot basis; the end result is a jumble of dialogue that leaves you constantly rewinding the DVD to see what you missed. In fact, nothing makes sense until the last ten minutes of the movie. Sound irritating? You’d be right.


The whole thing just feels...messy. Somewhere in there is a decent story, but in its current form it’s so convoluted it’s unrecognizable. Did this get over-edited? Was the shooting script this disorganized? Maybe a director’s cut will shed some light in the future.


Yet there were some highlights, hence the second sparkly star.


Cameron Deane Stewart is perfect as the leading man, Matthew Clark. He’s the only one who doesn’t play a caricature of a human being. He slips into the Angry Poor Kid trap once or twice, but he nails the vulnerability and resentment without getting bogged down in being a scared tough guy. Jeffrey Schmidt is very entertaining as Dr. Day, but I don’t think I’d call this his finest hour. Ben Browder is chilling as Max. He gets just two little moments to really act but wow they’re tense. Judd Nelson made the best of his role. The rest? Meh. They made predictable or weak or strangely incongruous choices; all in all forgettable.


The music is great. It grinds, taunts, and sets a nice tone for the action scenes. It’s the first thing I noticed and continued to notice as the plot got more tedious and erratic.


Ultimately, Bad Kids Go To Hell is a rather boring flick that needed more time on the drafting table, less time in the editing room, and loads more Judd Nelson.


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Video, Audio and Special Features:


Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.


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Movie: Twostars
Video: n/a
Audio: n/a
Features: n/a
Overall: Twostars




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About The Author
Karin Crighton
Staff Writer | Lunatic
Karin doesn't know anything about movies, but has a lot of time and opinions to yell into the void. When she's not directing plays in and around NYC, she's watching every horror movie on every streaming service. And probably talking to a cat.
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