Had this been the late 90s a movie like Extracurricular Activities would have been an instant cult classic, right up there with Jawbreaker and Heathers. But in the age VOD the movie, sadly, probably won’t find the audience it deserves.
The film tells the story of Reagan (Colin Ford) who stages “accidents” to kill of the parents of his fellow classmates. And while the plot itself might seem a little extreme that’s actually why it works. The film’s biggest plot hole (why hasn’t anyone noticed that a lot of parents are dying at the same time?) actually becomes a key plot point when a detective starts to connect the dots.
The only really disappointing thing is that since Ford is the central focus everyone else kind of gets left behind. Director Jay Lowi knows he’s got a good thing in Ford and he’s right not to stray into too many subplots but the audience ends up not really knowing anything about the supporting cast. That’s a shame because Lowi has set up what’s basically a teenage version of Dexter, and that’s full of potential.
While it’s not American Psycho dark there are elements that are just violent enough to get its point across. One gets the feeling that a lot was left on the cutting room floor and it would be interesting to see an extended cut, if one exists.
Strangely the plot of Extracurricular Activities might actually lend itself better to television. Given its short running time the audience never really feels the anxiety of the cat-and-mouse game being played out between Reagan and his detective nemesis. But played out over an extended period there would be a lot of tension as things rise to a climax.
Extracurricular Activities is in select theaters May 17 and on VOD June 4.