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Review: Horror-comedy ‘Bad Kids of Crestview Academy’ fails by any measure

‘Bad Kids of Crestview Academy’
Sean Astin, from left, Matthew Frias and Erika Daly in the movie "€œBad Kids of Crestview Academy.”
(Momentum Pictures)

Sequels frequently follow the law of diminishing returns, but what are you left with when even the first film didn’t make a dent? In this case, the first movie, “Bad Kids Go to Hell,” will likely draw blank stares from anyone unfamiliar with its comic book source material. The second film, “Bad Kids of Crestview Academy,” is an even bigger head-scratcher. Why does this movie exist and how does it succeed in failing on every level? 

Making his directorial debut, the first film’s costar Ben Browder brings the audience back to the halls of snotty Crestview Academy. Four years after the deadly detention that killed a group of students, a new mystery needs solving at the private school. Unpopular Siouxsie (Sammi Hanratty) infiltrates a Saturday detention session to figure out why her older sister died. People start dying in increasingly bloody ways and the audience, if they cared, is left to wonder who is at the heart of the conspiracy.

“Bad Kids of Crestview Academy” wavers between gross-out horror and teen comedy with the lack of focus you’d expect from an underachiever. It never fully goes for either approach or explores its world of haves and have-nots. Animated comic book panels hint at an attempt at style, but bad camerawork captures bad performances of bad dialogue.

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‘Bad Kids of Crestview Academy’

Rating: R, for bloody violent content, sexual material, nudity, language throughout, drug and alcohol use — all involving teens.

Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge, Hollywood

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