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Cherry Falls (2000, Brittany Murphy, Michael Biehn)

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A killer is on the loose at a small town high school, picking his (or maybe her) victims one-by-one… Sound familiar? Not in Geoffrey Wright’s film, because this time the victims aren’t the girls-who-do and the boys from the back of the class. This killer targets virgins, leading to the film’s tagline, ‘Lose your innocence… or lose your life.’

The heroine is Jody Marken (Brittany Murphy), daughter of the local town sheriff Brent Marken (Michael Biehn). She must find the vital clues and place herself in peril as her dad tries to keep up, but this is, of course, the fun of the genre. And naturally, the killer’s identity comes as a complete surprise in the final reel.

Wright, best known for the brilliant Romper Stomper, handles the material well, aided by the reliable Biehn, whose credits include The Terminator and The Rock , and Murphy from Girl Interrupted and 8 Mile. The support is also excellent, with Candy Clark as Marge Marken, the ‘experienced’ girl in class teaching the rest, and Jay Mohr as Leonard Marliston, too obviously weird to be the killer. The premise of the plot also allows writer Ken Selden to slip in sexual references, scenes and lines that would be out of place in most teen horrors. While not a Halloween or Scream , this is good, gory fun.

production details
US | 92 minutes | 2000
Director: Geoffrey Wright
Script: Ken Selden,

cast
Brittany Murphy as Jody Marken
Jay Mohr as Leonard Marliston
Michael Biehn as Sherrif Brent Marken
Jesse Bradford as Rod Harper
Candy Clark as Marge Marken
Gabriel Mann as Kenny Ascott
Amanda Anka as Deputy Mina
Joannah Portman as Sharon
Kristen Miller as Cindy
Bre Blair as Stacy Twelfmann
Natalie Ramsey as Sandy
Joe Inscoe as Tom Sisler, Principal
Douglas Spain as Mark
Michael Weston as Ben
Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Timmy
Vicki Davis as Heather
Bret McKee as Dylan Roley
Clementine Ford as Annette Duwald
Michael Goodwin as Mr. Duwald
Colin Fickes as Dino
DJ Qualls as Wally
Zachary Knighton as Mr. Rolly

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