Cherry Falls (2000) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Geoffrey Wright
Starring: Brittany Murphy, Jay Mohr, Michael Biehn
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
A serial killer is stalking the peaceful town of Cherry Falls. At first, it seems that he is just targeting teenagers, but after the third killing, it becomes clear that all the victims have been virgins. When the town’s students hear about this, they realize that there is only one way to protect themselves and begin planning a “Pop Your Cherry” party where they will all lose their virginities together. Meanwhile, Jodi (Brittany Murphy, Clueless, Sin City), the virtuous daughter of the town’s sheriff (Michael Biehn, Aliens, Grindhouse), decides to take matters into her own hands and trap the killer herself.
Cherry Falls is a movie I remember well because I actually rented it on VHS back in the day. As a matter of fact, it was the last time I actually saw it until this new Scream Factory release on Blu-ray. Basically, it is another in the long line of teen horror films (mostly slashers) that were spawned from how well Scream went over with everyone. Unlike some of the others, this one does have a bit of blood, even if actual gore effects and some off-camera things do happen (Uncut materials seem lost for good with this one). It also packs that “who done it” thing, with a whole lot of red herrings, which if you pay enough attention early on could have you thinking more than one person is doing the teen killing. Of course, the reveal leads to a very good performance from someone later on, but if I told you who that would spoil the reveal if you haven’t seen this yet. The plot boils down to virgins being targeted for a change and this reveal leads to everyone in school deciding to basically hold an orgy party for the purpose of everyone losing their virginity at hopes for survival. Mix that in with a young Brittany Murphy playing a very strange acting final girl and we have a movie that is anything but dull, just really strange. I’d call the overall weirdness from the characters in this movie to be a major selling point. I guess the acting performances could be seen as odd, but when an extra on the disc reveals that this was at one time actually pitched at David Lynch, you can sort of see what they were going for overall and I think they KINDA hit that mark.
The long line of teen slashers from the mid to late 90’s, expanding over into the early 2000’s might be as long of a list as the slashers from the 80’s. That being the case, you could see where a lot of these can sort of run together and all be a blur to the most people who may have run across them over the years. That being said, I think Cherry Falls is one of the better ones that deserves the attention back on it that I hope a release like this will give it. It isn’t as good as the original Scream, but it is far more interesting than most of the rest from that era. While I didn’t remember a whole bunch of it from when I originally saw it from the 2000’s VHS release, I remember enough of it and the fact I remembered it at all from that time after just some random weekend rental kind of said a lot. The movie packs some blood, hot girls, weird characters, and some plot twists and turns that are a bit silly, but blends in with the overall awkward feel of the thing regardless. Also, I think this movie looks great in HD here. The movie was shot with a very good eye behind the camera and some of the settings and scenes really seem to pop in this transfer. You also get some nice extras in the interviews as well, making this a very good pick-up for anyone who wants underrated horror films on Blu-ray.
– NEW Audio Commentary With Director Geoffrey Wright
– NEW Lose It Or Die: The Untold Story Of Cherry Falls – Interviews With Writer And Co-Executive Producer Ken Selden And Producer Marshall Persinger
– NEW Cherry Falls Deputy Mina – An Interview With Amanda Anka
– Vintage Interviews With Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn, Jay Mohr And Director Geoffrey Wright
– Behind-The-Scenes Footage
– Original Script (BD-ROM)
– Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 100%