#265 -- 5ive Girls (2006)

Rating: 3 / 5
Director: Warren P. Sonoda

I saw this movie years ago, and I remembered nothing about it save that it had something to do with Catholic school girls. That, immediately, was a bad sign when I decided to watch it again.

My only memory was somewhat off. The girls were at some Catholic school, but not by choice or religion. They were there because they were bad seeds. Their parents didn't want to deal with them anymore, so they sent them away to have the fear of God put in them. In this school, though, were only two adults: a teacher, Father Drake (Ron Perlman), and Ms. Pearce, the evil headmistress. We were never given any details about what exactly the girls did to end up there, but we can assume that it was simply because of their "powers." Yes, they have special powers. The main character, Alex, is telekinetic and can apparently hear voices and see things that others can't. Mara is the bad girl, who is a lesbian and has a healing hand. Cecilia is a blind girl with a precognitive second sight. Leah is able to walk through walls, and Connie is a spiritual conduit. The characters were all crafted well, and I found myself more interested in them and their interactions with one another than I was with the horror aspects of the movie.

Soon after arriving at this reform school, Alex begins to see ghosts and hear voices. She believes that a young girl's spirit is trapped inside and wants to get out. That young girl is Elizabeth, who disappeared from the school right before it closed five years before. We learn later that it's because Satan, or Legion as they call him, tried to possess her. She was too pure and pious to fully possess, though, so she remained in a sort of limbo. Throughout the movie, Legion is trying to return by possessing and killing the girls one by one. In the end, Ms. Pearce has a secret that may be the downfall of the girls.

Legion is forced out of Mara's body
The movie had a few problems. First of all, Ms. Pearce, who was supposed to be evil, was only annoying. The acting was terrible and unbelievable. Ron Perlman was great as Father Drake, but his part was downplayed and his character somewhat irrelevant. I suppose he was there because there had to be a teacher, in order to make the school seem somewhat legit. But with only one teacher and one class, it's hard to believe this is a real school. The school used repetitive prayer and chores to reform the girls, rather than any actual therapy or reformative actions (unless you count brutally whipping them with a five-foot long ruler). That's my biggest problem. Were these girls' parents so terrible that they'd send them to a school that so obviously wasn't a school at all? Were they really that blind? And why didn't the girls notice the strangeness in that simple fact, rather than later on when things started to go sour? Certain aspects of the story make the movie unbelievable, and therefore impossible to be scary. It did have a few somewhat creepy moments, and the production values were done so well that you almost don't notice. The movie definitely looked good; the effects were great, and the mood lighting and camera angles were effective. But the poor story-telling is where the movie loses its viewers. The ending is too predictable (though it did stray somewhat from a certain horror cliche), too easy and too sudden. And the solution wasn't a solution at all, as nothing was solved and no villain was defeated.

Ms. Pearce swallows a crucifix

Even with all the problems, I didn't hate it. There were sexy school girls, nice character interaction, some cool effects, and freakin' Hellboy as a priest. So it's not altogether un-enjoyable. It's just unbelievable. The viewer can't put themselves in the characters' shoes because it offers nothing to make us feel like it's real. And therefore, this movie can't possibly frighten anyone. You may be entertained by the strip-search scene, and the characters, but the horror and reality aspects are lacking. Overall, though, it's not that bad.

1 comment:

  1. is there a 2and movie
    could you please let me know i enjoyed this movie a lot so i was kinda hoping their is a number 2
    could ya let me know it there is at hayley.sewell@bigpond.com :) thnk