Slasher Rewatch: “The House on Sorority Row” (1983)


As part of a new segment at Slasher Studios, each we will be taking a look at a slasher we reviewed years ago to see how our opinion might or might not have changed over the years. Today we are looking at the 1983 slasher classic “House on Sorority Row.” When I first reviewed it back in January 2012, I was mixed (you can read my full review HERE) on my reaction to the movie.

What I said:

“The House on Sorority Row” is an interesting addition to the slasher genre. Interesting in the way that for everything I really enjoyed about this film, I can think of at least something that I also didn’t felt worked at all. The prank, as stated before, is so badly directed that I had no idea what was even happening let alone what the prank was supposed to be. Also, it is hard to hate Mrs. Slater as she is only given two scenes before she is killed off. Also, speaking of killed of…how are the deaths here? Sadly, fairly lackluster. Yes, my fellow slasher fans, this is one of those movies in which almost all of the deaths occur off screen so the heroine can be surprised when she finds her dead friend. Love the reveal of the dead bodies but to do this for ALL of the deaths is a pretty easy way out. That being said, the story is fairly strong and the actresses are all quite good in their roles. If you are a fan of early 80′s revenge/college slasher films, you could do a lot worse than what is on display here. Sadly, it could have also have been a lot better with another rewrite or two.

How I feel now:
Immediately there are several points with my original review that I am either not happy with or that I fully disagree. I mention that the prank is “badly directed” because we have “no idea what the prank is supposed to be.” On a rewatch it was clear that was done intentionally to keep the audience on edge as to what is really supposed to be going on. I didn’t find it badly directed at all. In fact, I think it’s one of the better scenes in the movie. Once element that I am SHOCKED that I never mentioned in my original review was the classic score by Richard Band. It gives every scene a distinct flavor and gets creepier as the film progresses. While I agree that the deaths leave a bit to be desired, they didn’t bother me nearly as much on this viewing. I get that this film was going for more of a classic slasher approach (a’la “Happy Birthday to Me”) and I think I wanted this film to be something that it wasn’t the first time I viewed it. That is a criticism of my review and definitely not the film itself.

Original rating:

Current rating:

The film is now available on bluray and can be purchased here: House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray] (widescreen, remastered)