Cherry Falls (2000)

Cherry Falls film.jpg

Cherry Falls is an American Slasher/Thriller movie with an interesting premise that sets out to subvert the conventions of the Slasher movie, and provide a satirical take on the Slasher genre in a similar way that Scream did four years earlier. The whole premise of Cherry Falls is about a psychopath who targets virgins in a high-school, and I think this premise is very clever, as it completely subverts the whole idea of the ‘virginal survivor’ – a convention found in traditional slasher movies. Historically, Cherry Falls was the first , and only, American film to be directed by Australian Director Geoffrey Wright, best known as the Director of gritty Australian Dramas, such as the critically acclaimed Romper Stomper. Cherry Falls never got a cinematic release and was only really popular in Spain, where Geoffrey Wright won two awards at the Sigtes Film Festival for Best Picture and Best Director.

First off, I want to premise my review by saying that Cherry Falls is a really bad film, one that’s not even enjoyably bad. I don’t know whether Geoffrey Rush was out of his depth by making a Comedy Horror film, or he just didn’t care about the film to begin with, but the Directing in this film is very poor. Cherry Falls stars some very talented actors who have gone on to do better things such as Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn and Jay Mohr, but their performances in Cherry Falls are really bad. It feels like they’re trying to act, but they don’t know how what the hell their character’s supposed to be. They all look lost and confused, not knowing how to deliver each line. It ends up giving a lot of the scenes this very awkward, almost sexual tension that ruins the moment and makes the scene very uncomfortable to watch, and the fault of this lies solely on the shoulders of the Director. Geoffrey Wright is capable of directing very powerful scenes using unknown actors, but he couldn’t direct the cast of Cherry Falls to deliver one good take. As someone who is fairly knowledgeable of the cinematic industry, it’s embarrassing to experience a film like Cherry Falls where it feels like no-one knew what they were doing.

The writing of Cherry Falls doesn’t help either. The plot of the film is horribly unfocused, and horribly unfunny. The dialogue is unconvincingly poor and the characterizations are absent. The worst aspect of the writing is the fact that there’s a lot of stupid, forced, immature jokes that happen throughout the entirety of Cherry Falls. To be completely honest, the film only made me laugh once at a throwaway line (“Tell them to go out and get laid so they can feel safe?”), the rest of the so-called ‘comedy’ was just bad. The questionable ‘punchlines’ were painful to sit through and the quirky characters were annoying, not endearing.

Aside from a decent climax – one that really wasn’t worth the hour long wait – I don’t feel like Cherry Falls has a single good element about it. The cinematography is bland, the editing is beyond awful, the music is terribly distracting and the movie needs a better sound engineer as the film’s audio quality is all over the place.

By the way, it took me six attempts to try and watch this film, and each time I got bored and shut it off, trying to find a better way to spend my time, but I did stick with the movie in the end, and I kind of regret the fact that I did. This movie could have been great, it could have been a slasher classic. It could have been a funny, smart, satirical movie along the same vein of Scream, especially when it has such a sexually charged premise at a time where teen sex-fueled comedies like American Pie were really popular, but Cherry Falls missed the mark. Even the whole premise is undermined by the fact that the ‘survivor girl’ is still a virgin by the end of the movie. In conclusion, Cherry Falls is terrible. it is not worth a viewer’s time and definitely one of the weakest attempts at making a slasher movie. I do not recommend watching this film.

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