High School Not-So-Confidential
By Crystal Harrell
Now that the dog days of summer have officially passed, the smell of pumpkin spice is ever-present in coffee shops and bakeries across the valley, which often signifies that it is indeed fall (despite the consistent triple-degree temperatures). In other words, the summer block party is over and schools are officially back in session. But who says nothing exciting ever happens in the classroom?
In observance of this seemingly dull occasion, the PSCC Blog brings you a collection of must-see, understated movies that take place in the humdrum hallways of educational establishments. These films range from the most bizarre cult classics to the downright scandalous. Now listen up, stay seated, and follow along with the text.
1. Heathers - There's no doubt that the mean girl clique is a necessary cliche used in most movies centered in high school. But what if there was a permanent, albeit deadly, solution to fix any tension caused between the "cool kids" and the underdogs? The 1989 cult favorite Heathers stars a young Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as a murderous duo that takes out all those snobby upperclassmen who have done them wrong. Filled with a ridiculously quotable script, shocking plot twists, and dark humor, this film will have your eyes glued to the screen as the Bonnie and Clyde team finishes off the school year with a bang.
2. Teen Wolf - Although Michael J, Fox's claim to fame will always be the iconic Back to the Future trilogy, he also starred in a little-known movie called Teen Wolf in 1985. This movie actually inspired the popular MTV series of the same name, which, as you can probably guess, involves the protagonist coping with the daily struggles of high school while also juggling with the fact that he's a werewolf. Being more light-hearted and comedic than the supernatural television show, this film is worthy of a watch because of Michael J. Fox's charismatic acting as he participates in some hilarious hijinks.
3. The Wave - Who doesn't love a good experiment to liven things up during class? As the 2011 film, The Wave, shows, it's probably best for teachers not to test their theories on students. The movie centers on a high school class that emulates a dictatorship movement their teacher organizes as an educational opportunity. The social experiment gets out of hand when the self-proclaimed "Wave" group takes their teachings out of the classroom and into the real world, where the consequences become more dire than expected. Based on a true story, The Wave captivates viewers with moments of suspense and real-life drama that emulates the very worst of human psychology.
4. Killing Mr. Griffin - There's at least one teacher in high school you can't remember fondly. The 1997 thriller Killing Mr. Griffin makes those who watch it question how far they would go to humiliate their least favorite teacher. Based on a novel by Lois Duncan, the film stars a 90's Mario Lopez as he and his friends conspire to kidnap their English teacher after being humiliated in his class, and scare the old man as payback for his tyranny over students. The plan goes accordingly until Mr. Griffin suffers a heart attack and the teens must cover up their tracks before the law finds out about their revenge plot. This flick possesses just the right amount of angst and mystery to keep you guessing the ending.
And there you have it! Feel free to share some of your favorite high school-themed movies with us.