Detention (2011) combines multiple genres of ‘slasher’ horror and comedy with the teen-high school theme that is reiterated in so many teen films in recent years. Writer and director, Joseph Khan, seems to have incorporated his previous works of music videos into this film. The hyperkinetic style in Detention has the feel that we are watching a film, music video and computer game all mashed up into one. Fast paced editing, onscreen captions and loud rock music to match introduces the nature of this film within the opening sequences. Possibly, the Director’s intent is to capture or reflect on the intended audience’s scattered attention span. Nonetheless, Kahn has made a film that is in tune with the world around us whilst exploring, what could be the next stage of pop filmmaking. The narrative employed in the opening scene subjects the audience to the melodramatic outbursts and incomprehensible self-centered antics of a teenager’s attempt to prepare for school. Taylor, played by Alison Woods, addresses the camera directly and boasts of her awesome life and how to achieve it. With the aid of onscreen text, we learn the steps of Taylor’s ‘Guide to not being a total reject.
Have you ever had to endure family dinners of endless mundane conversations of who’s been to the latest hip place, what renovations they’re working on and of course, who’s making the most money. The tension grows, as the next topic is sure to be politics. I sit in silence observing my family members and wondering where the line of genealogy got so mashed up.
Until… the conversation shifts to common ground as my all so observant nephew notices my recluse state and asks, “Have you seen any good films lately?”
Now we’re talking… talking films.
In my family when we talk films there’s an air of excitement, passion and heaps of discussion. Even if someone hasn’t seen the movie, they listen in as though they are watching a movie trailer. There are no spoilers as we have this subliminal ritual to keep our audience in anticipation. We talk about the actors, characters, direction and effects. We compare the Director and actors to their previous works and when we delve into subtext and metaphors we open up to interpretation and varied opinions.
When we talk films we unite to form the family of wannabe film critics.