Director: Matty Beckerman
Cast: Lala Kent, Shea Buckner, Randy Couture
Release Date: September 25, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
The anxiety of rush week turns into sheer terror when sisters of a sorority are slain — and turned into dolls — by a serial killer. New pledge Riley (Lala Kent, “Vanderpump Rules”) and her best friend, Becks (Mia Frampton), must endure late-night hazing rituals as the murderer watches and waits. Can Riley uncover the terrible secret shared by her cop father (Randy Couture, The Expendables franchise) and deceased mother, a former Phi Lambda sister, before becoming a victim herself?
Get ready for a sorority more dangerous than you could have ever imagined. ‘The Row’ tells the story of new Phi Lambda sorority pledge Riley (Kent) and her best friend Becks (Frampton) who thought they would have more than enough to worry about with the expected hazing, humiliation and other aspects that seem to always come attached with pledging. But what they hadn’t expected was a masked, psychotic killer stalking and killing the members of Phi Lambda one by one with the deranged intention of using them in order to construct the perfect human doll.
Directed by Matty Beckerman (Alien Abduction) and written by Sarah Scougal (Albion: The Enchanted Stallion), Beckerman does a more than capable job at the helm of ‘The Row’ which marks his sophomore directorial effort, guiding along the goofy and amusing fun and thrills quite well. The film features a cast comprised of a few familiar faces along with a number of lesser known stars and includes Lala Kent (Dudes & Dragons), Shea Buckner (Escape Plan 2: Hades), Dylan Sprayberry (TV’s Teen Wolf), Natali Yura (Reprisal), Mia Frampton (Tammy) and Randy Couture (The Expendables franchise) along with more, the majority offering pretty solid and fitting performances in each of their respective roles for the most part, particularly for a genre film with a limited initial release such as this one.
‘The Row’ serves up an amusing, fairly bloody and thoroughly entertaining piece of mindless slasher film fun. Albeit far from perfect and suffering from its share of troubles such as an odd balance of tone as if it’s not always sure what it wants to do with itself, while also providing the necessary slasher traits such as the dimwitted teenage victims, an unknown killer and a healthy batch of red herrings. All of which are incredibly familiar horror film elements, yet almost overdone to the point of hilarity in ‘The Row’ which somehow manages to work for the most part in its own right by adding to the almost ridiculous fun. It’s not really anything special, but its ability to mix over the top and lighthearted fun with some twisted and bloody chaos and a perfect setting end up allowing ‘The Row’ to be way more enjoyable and decent that you might expect. Fellow genre fans and those who enjoy the slasher subgenre in particular may want to give this fun little romp a whirl when convenient and if you can go in expecting some silly, bloody fun that requires little to no brainpower then you’re liable to have quite a pretty good time with this one. At the very least it certainly can’t hurt to check it out one random evening should you happen to come across it on your favorite streaming service and can spare 90 minutes.
Overall, ‘The Row’ is a rather decent, over the top slasher that doesn’t quite manage to find anything special to offer genre fans but still provides enough thoughtless and bloody fun to make it an undeniably entertaining little ride at the very least. While it’s probably unnecessary to go out and get your hands on a copy of this one immediately and I’d suggest against a blind purchase for those that haven’t yet seen the film, I would likely still recommend it to fellow genre fans (especially those that enjoy the slasher genre, particularly the “Scream” wave of movies which it seems to borrow heavily from at times) who stand a pretty good chance of having a good bit of fun with this goofy, somewhat bloody and just downright enjoyable horror flick whenever the opportunity to give it a shot may present itself.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Row’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and delivers a sharp, clean and bright, richly colored presentation from start to finish, with no notable faults or issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up quite well even during the fast moving, darkly lit and/or heavily populated sequences and never allows anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Lionsgate that holds up beautifully throughout and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, crisp and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It consistently takes advantage of all five available channels to send the music booming during the party sequences, along with some creepy audio effects, crowd chatter and more making its way throughout the various speakers when appropriate, while any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously always remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and compliments the film quite well.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Row’ includes a couple bonus goodies. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Matty Beckerman’ in addition to the Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Making The Row’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length) which includes some behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew. The official ‘Trailer’ for the film (2 minutes) is also included.