Student Body (2022)

Jane Shipley (Montse Hernandez) and Merritt Sinclair (Cheyenne Haynes) were childhood best friends, but now Jane’s struggling to fit in with Merritt’s friend circle. To make matters worse in her life, teacher Mr. Aunspach (Christian Camargo) oversteps her personal boundaries and no one in power cares, which means that Merritt makes Jane get her own justice. But is that enough? And if she keeps pushing her further, how bad can things get? And what if Merritt’s friends convince the two to set up an elaborate prank over the weekend, forcing them to break into Allendale High School? And (last time, I promise) what if they’re not alone?

This is director and writer Lee Ann Kurr’s first full-length film and she really shines in the way that she frames the same scenes we may have seen in several slashers before, but gives them a different glance. There’s a bathroom-set murder that does so much with hiding the actual impact of the violence, but showing it in hints within a pool of blood and on the actors’ faces as they discover what has happened. The same can be said for the close of the film, as the framing and sound design allows our minds to fill in the gaps of what’s happening and how brutal it is without needing to push it right in our faces.

While there aren’t many faces in the cast that are all that well-known as of yet — save perhaps Harley Quinn Smith — don’t let that keep you from watching this. I’m all for more slashers, obviously, but I’m also even more for ones that work. This one does.

Student Body is available digitally from 1091 Pictures.

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