The novel of Downers Grove seemed to garner enough mixed reviews on its own, but for some reason, someone not only to make it into a movie, but also decided to add a Supernatural Curse subplot to the story, presumably to make it marketable to the Horror crowd?
There are moments of Ellis-like violence, depravity, and twisted machismo throughout the movie, but they are quick flashes that never really hit with the power of his previous works. Instead, The Curse of Downer's Grove is nothing more than a watered-down effort from the once great author, playing more like a confused teen drama than anything else.
Downers Grove is cursed. You see, every year as graduation approaches, a Senior from Downers Grove High School dies in a mysterious way; some get in car accidents, some fall off of water towers, and some OD, but no matter what the cause of death is, a Senior always dies. Forget the fact that a lot of them were drunk and high when they died, because this is a curse!
|INTENSE FLASHBACK #1 OUT OF #120.|
|LIFE GETS NO TOUGHER THAN DECIDING WHICH BOY TO DATE.|
|THE HOTTIE OF DOWNERS GROVE.|
The best thing that Downer's Grove has going for it is its cast. Bella Heathcote did a great job playing the sympathetic and likable lead, and Kevin Zegers was equally convincing as the nut-job bad guy. Lucas Till, Penelope Mitchell, and Martin Spanjers were truly likable in their roles as well. It helps that their characters were well written, but they all did their jobs well. Aside from the whole "curse" aspect, the story was pretty solid in general too. Had they just made the movie a straight-up Teen Terror flick, Downer's Grove could have really shined. It surely had its good moments.
|SO INTENSE FOR SOMEONE SO YOUNG.|
I mean, the movie does its best to make us think that it's about a curse and all, but it wasn't until the very end, after the whole rape-revenge storyline was over with, that it brought us back to "the curse." It really felt like an afterthought.
And about that ending... what a stupid, shitty twist. The after-credits scene was even worse.
|NICE TRY, GUYS.|
|AT LEAST WE GOT TO LOOK AT HER FOR 90-MINUTES...|
The Curse of Downers Grove is available now on VOD.
The Hotties of Downers Grove: Bella Heathcote and Penelope Mitchell.