by Amy Diaz
Bored rich kids attempt
to amuse themselves the way bored rich kids always amuse themselves (by
finding the weakest among their number and eating him alive) in the
silly, non-scary horror movie Cry Wolf.
Here is one thing Sarah
Michelle Gellar will always have going for her: even if she never gets
steady work again, even if her next movie is Scooby Doo 3, she can
always point to her role in Cruel Intentions, the teenage version of
Dangerous Liaisons, as a high-water mark of camp. There is nothing so
ridiculous as the 16-year-old who acts like sheís the Alexis Carrington
of her high school. Gellar perfectly translated the
let-them-eat-cake-ness of courtly France to the let-them-wear-Versace
attitude of a Manhattan prep-schooler. All others feel like mere
pretenders at her throne.
All others to include
the pale imitation of that performance turned in by Lindy Booth. Booth
plays Dodger Allen, the queen bee of a VIP clique of prep school kids in
an already-exclusive environment. Into her hive comes Owen Matthews
(Julian Morris), a trouble maker with a distant father and a
surprisingly unconvincing English accent (ďsurprisinglyĒ because Morris
actually is from England). Dodger fancies Owen and invites him to the
chapel to play a late-night game of bluff with her group of pampered
friends. The game shows Owen to be their equal but also leaves Dodger
wanting to turn the action up a level. Letís involve the whole school,
she says. Luckily a townie has recently been murdered in the nearby
woods. Using that titillating fact as the backbone, the group spins a
legend about a killer who starts with the locals and quickly moves to
thin out the preppy herd.
Naturally, itís all fun
and games until someone is found with a big knife in class and students
begin to mysteriously disappear. Is the created killer coming to life?
Or are the students making up for parental neglect by further toying
with each other?
Or is this all a part
of an elaborate Halloween-themed reality show in which contestants
arenít voted out of the game but reduced via the bloody-death method?
Because Iíll bet that show would do really well on MTV.
Cry Wolf dazzles you
with how scary it isnít and how unmysterious the central mystery is. No,
Iím sure these teens would never try to gaslight each other. What, lie?
No, never, not the well-bred students of a fancy private boarding
school. And Iím sure itís an adult, like the janitor or the journalism
teacher (a smirking Jon Bon Jovi) whoís behind all the madness.
Lacking in originality,
amusement or sense, Cry Wolf feels deader than a panty-wearing-teenager
who goes to investigate that odd noise at the end of a dark hallway.