Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Lauren McKnight, Alex Van, Kirsten Prout, Stella Maeve, Matt Angel, Chris Zylka, Myndy Crist
Directed by Jacob Gentry
My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen Part 2 is something of an odd duck slasher flick in that it doesn’t appear all that interested in being a slasher flick and what slashing there is almost feels arbitrary, as if done out of contractual obligation. When the killer finally dons his mask and begins randomly murdering party guests, there is little motivation for him to be doing so since he already has a goal in mind that doesn’t really require him to butcher some of the partygoers he does.
In actuality, this sequel to MTV’s original slasher flick from last Halloween plays less like the Prom Night-like slasher the first was and more like an above average Lifetime Network-style psycho-thriller about a dangerously obsessed father stalking his estranged teenage daughter while scheming revenge against his now well-off ex and her new family that just happens to also feature a couple of random drunk and horny teens at a party getting butchered in the process. The important thing, though, is that My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen Part 2 actually works and I feel made for a more well-rounded, less campy feature than part one. Definitely a darker, meaner, tweener screamer.
The original saw dark-haired teen Skye Rotter a social outcast primarily due to her father, who worked at a roller skating rink as its kingly mascot, having gone postal at birthday party when she was a kid. The rink was shut down due to the massacre and father was believed to have perished, but “The Lord of the Rink” returned when the spoiled teen princess bullying Skye decided to make the long closed down “Rollerdome” the site of her grandiose super sweet 16 birthday party.
Part 2 picks up shortly after the second Rollerdome massacre. Skye has skipped town and tracked down the mother who abandoned her and deranged dad when she was just an infant. Mom is now married to a wealthy night club owner and has a 15-year-old daughter, Alex, though mom clearly has some issues given her cache of prescription pills. Skye and Alex’s budding sisterhood is complicated by Zoe, the bitchy queen bee whose high school clique freshman Alex has fallen into. Alex is so determined to be accepted by Zoe’s in-crowd that she secretly arranges a booze-soaked party at dad’s club and steals prescription drugs from mom’s medicine cabinet for Zoe and friends to get high on. Skye could probably use some of those meds herself given her constant nightmares, hallucinations, and signs she might share some her father’s homicidal tendencies.
Brigg, the high school hunk that took a liking to Skye and nearly perished because of it, and Derek, Skye’s geeky best friend who spent the whole first film on an irritating quest to lose his virginity, aren’t the only returning characters from the first film trying to locate Skye’s whereabouts. Psycho dad is still alive and has somehow managed to follow Skye to this new town, and given the ex that skipped out on him long ago is there living the high life with a new family, all of this just further fuels his demented rage. And since Skye is attending another wild party on what just happens to be her own 16th birthday (the film’s only true tie to its title, the gimmickry of a slasher film taking stabs at MTV’s popular “My Super Sweet 16” series has been done away with this time), why not put the “Lord of the Rink” mask on again and do some stabbing, slashing, and face bashing while he’s there?
Again I must reiterate that a good number of the kills felt totally unnecessary and more there just to pacify viewers fully expecting a straightforward slasher flick along the lines of part one. Writers Jed Elinoff and Scott Allan Thomas’ take on killer Charlie Rotter this time is less masked slasher and more of a vagabond version of The Stepfather with major abandonment and social class issues and no pretenses about hiding his true psychotic nature. Some might be disappointed by this turn, but I found actor Alex Van far more menacing out of his “Lord of the Rink” mask and medieval attire just looking and behaving like he could be Viggo Mortensen’s mentally unstable homeless brother.
The entire cast step it up for this follow-up thanks to the characters being made more believable than the teen movie caricatures that populated the first film.
I suspect that striving to make a more believable movie is the reason Jacob Gentry (The Signal) directs most of the carnage to be far more brutal than what you normally find in teen slasher movies. Even the demise of mean girl Zoe, clearly designed to be an over-the-top comeuppance, is so mean-spirited it’s more likely to have you feeling sorry for her. Might also have you wondering why Charlie chose to give her such an elaborately nasty death given he didn’t seem to have any first-hand knowledge of Zoe’s blackmailing of Skye.
Not believable is a major plot hole that bugged me for most of the movie. Nobody in Skye’s new family ever questions her on her past or bothers to do any investigation to find out anything about her. Zoe is the only person to discover Skye’s secret and only does so by accident because Skye leaves an internet search page open on a laptop. A dozen teenagers get slaughtered at a birthday party, the daughter of the killer is considered a wanted fugitive by the authorities, and yet this doesn’t make major headlines or isn’t the talk of every teenager social networking circle in a community said to be only a day-and-a-half drive from the town where the mass murder occurred?
Make that two plot holes that bugged me. A creepy looking guy casually walks up to you on the sidewalk outside your home and begins making cryptic, threatening comments about your family, and you don’t bother to ever mention this to anyone? I realize Alex is just a dumb teenage girl, but that’s the kind of encounter that in the real world typically ends with someone dialing 911.
My Super Psycho Sweet 16 Part 2 ends with an obvious cliffhanger setting up a potential part three. If a third installment makes for as watchable a thriller as this superior sequel, I am more than willing to accept another invitation to this party.
3 out of 5
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