The Haunting of Crestview High (2012) DVD Review

crestviewcoverThe Haunting of Crestview High aka Bad Kids Go To Hell (2012)

Directed by: Matthew Spradlin

Written by: Matthew Spradlin, Barry Wernick

Starring: Cameron Deane Stewart, Augie Duke, Ali Faulkner, Roger Edwards, Amanda Alch, Marc Donato, Ben Browder, Judd Nelson

Out now in UK from 101 Films

Running time: 92 minutes

For those among you who don’t already know, ‘The Haunting of Crestview High’ was first released two years ago under the title ‘Bad Kids Go To Hell’. It was only available in the US and the Philippines. Incidentally, the Asian title was ‘Swagger Academy’. Hilarious.

Now this delay, and the change in title, really confused me at first. If you made a film, why would you wait two years for an international release? If you change the title, aren’t you just hurting the publicity? After watching it, I can tell you why. If I made this film, I’d want it to get as little airtime as possible.

The plot focuses on a highschool weekend where six teenagers are being held in detention for a series of as-yet-unexplained misdemeanours. They are Gothy, Nerdy, Sporty, Princess, Preppy and the Bad Boy. Yep, it seems like Matthew Spradlin gave us a #ThrowbackThursday to the 1980’s, but with a horror twist.

We learn early on that the eponymous Crestview High previously belonged to a Native American who just wouldn’t sell- until he died under mysterious circumstances, allowing the school to buy it. ALARM BELLS.

Then, we’re spoon-fed the crew’s backstories and reasons for incarceration through a series of patronising music-video flashbacks. The Bad Boy (Cameron Deane Stewart) is, of course, blamed for all of these wrongdoings, with the rest of the breakfast club being implicated in his crimes. After Gothy and Princess successfully poison the school psychologist, the teens find themselves locked in the library together, completely free of all adult supervision. And because they’re teenagers in a haunted building, they hold a séance. Yep.

Crestview1After an ambiguously ghostly response, cabin fever sets in as half the highschoolers think that the creepy noises are being made by a breeze and the other half is convinced that it’s a spirit trying to make contact.
Cue a series of spooky goings-on that wouldn’t make Scooby-Doo blush, with the exception of some fairly inventive final-destination death scenes. As the movie progresses, we’re gradually shown that the events leading up to detention may not be as simple as they seem and (guess what?)Bad Boy might not be to blame.

After the secondary cast members are all dead, we’re led to the first of not one, not two, but THREE twist endings. And one of them actually makes sense. Kinda. That is not to say this film has no good points; it is very well produced, very slick and it does have a few lines of witty dialogue, although these are hampered by some exceptionally sub-par acting.

Also, it has a few direct references to its 80’s predecessor sprinkled in, notably the ‘this is not the eighties feel-good movie of the year’ scene and the moment the Princess is humming ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ under her breath. And did I mention that Judd Nelson has a role? That’s right, The Breakfast Club’s John Bender plays the principal in this horror-homage, although he’s carrying an extra forty years and a beard so thick that the rest of the brat pack could probably hide in it.

But overall, the film is exceptionally disjointed. Where we should have a smooth, seamless audience experience, we’re given a jerky series of scenes that don’t quite match up. After that, there’s the dialogue; it’s terrible. It tries so hard to be witty, to capture that effortless back-and-forth that seems exclusive to teenagers, but just ends up sounding like an hour and a half of poor-little-rich-girl problems. There are a few attempts to make it ‘more real’ by dropping in racial slurs, but all of these are so out of place that they promise to stick in your mind and irritate you days later.

crestview3Be warned, the opening minutes do show a lot of promise. It could snare you during its inevitable 3am run on The Horror Channel, but if you dare to watch this movie heed my words; it is highly polished, well produced dreck.
It has its moments (and I mean, literally, moments), but it spends way too much time failing to be cool and meta to actually work.

So the question is ‘What happens when you mix bad acting, poor direction and a weak, nonsensical plot?’
Sadly, the answer is Crestview High.


Oh and there is a sequel currently being filmed for a 2015 release !!

An Interview with Chanel Ryan by Dean Sills

CR1An Interview with Chanel Ryan by Dean Sills

Hello Chanel, thank you for your time and welcome to UKHS.


UKHS – Your first movie appearance was in the independent film ‘Waiting For The Rocket’ in which you played a character called Chris. How did you get into acting and what has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?

CR – I’ve always loved acting and have wanted to be an actress since childhood. Thankfully, my modelling career made it an easier transition. Shortly after working on “Waiting for Rocket”, I went to audition for the film “George Wallace”, directed by the legendary John Frankenheimer. On the spot, he personally offered me the role, working alongside Gary Sinise and Mare Winningham! At the time, I was so new to the industry that I didn’t realize how lucky I was or what a big deal it was, to book a leading role in such a film and to work with such amazing talent. As far as my greatest achievement in the field of acting, I believe it has yet to come.I just hope to continuously do better and better work, alongside the most talented people.


CR2UKHS – You have been named one of the “Sexiest Women on the Planet” by magazines from four continents and your beautiful face and body have graced magazines across the globe, congratulations Chanel. How glamorous is it being a model and has modelling changed other aspects of your life?

CR – Although my focus is now acting, I can definitely tell you that, from the years of experience, that modeling is not all that glamorous. Sure there’s the traveling to exotic locations, staying in beautiful places, meeting interesting people, and wearing beautiful clothing, but then there’s the waking up at 4AM, working long days shooting until the sun goes down and often times, it’s either cold and windy or scorching and humid. By the end of the day, every bit of you just hurts and can’t even enjoy the scenery. No regrets though!

UKHS – I recently interviewed the beautiful, Scream Queen, Devanny Pinn and she talked about ‘Dead Sea’. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie and delighted you are also in the cast. What can you tell us about your role and are you excited about starring in a big creature feature?

CR – I LOVE LOVE Miss Devanny Pinn and was psyched to work along side her in “Dead Sea”. We had a fun scene together on the pontoon boat. My character and a group of friends are spending our summer vacation having fun in the sun, travelling from location to location, partying it up, when we end up on a pontoon boat in the middle of a lake, wondering why we’re the only people around!

This past January, the 2014 ShockFest Film Festival was held at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles. I was fortunate enough to have two films: “Dead Sea” and “Circus Of The Dead”, competing against each other for the “Best World Premiere Trailer Award.” The award went to “Dead Sea”!


UKHS – ‘DeadSea’ looks a fantastic movie.Congratulations on winning the “Best World Premiere Trailer Award” for ‘Dead Sea’. Let’s talk about ‘Circus of the Dead’. You play Tiffany Johnson in this one. What can horror fans expect from this movie and can you tell us a little about Tiffany?

CR – “Circus Of The Dead” is an artistic slasher film about a Circus that comes to town, bringing with it a group of twisted, demented clowns lead by Papa Corn, played wickedly good, by Bill Oberst Jr. They seek out people who take precious things in their lives for granted and force them to examine them in the most horrific of ways. Without spoiling the plot – or the clowns will come after me! Tiffany is a mother and wife who loves her family very much. She’s disillusioned with her marriage and longs for her husband, played by Parrish Randall, to pay more attention to her, the family and start appreciating what he has.


UKHS – You are also reprising your role as Ms. Gleason in ‘Bad Kids Go To Hell 2’, opposite Judd Nelson and Ben Browder. How much fun is it playing the over zealous cheer-leading coach/history teacher?

CR – Even-though we’re set to shoot this summer in Texas’ scorching sun, I can’t wait!! It’s still in the preproduction stage, but it’s extremely flattering to be asked to come back for the sequel. I had so much fun on the first one and to be opposite Judd and Ben again is awesome. Both are such pros and I learned a lot from the experience. ??


PrintUKHS – What other projects will you be working on this year and do you have any upcoming DVD movie releases?

CR – I have a few films coming out this year. CIRCUS OF THE DEAD will be out in the fall. The film is having it’s World Premiere at Texas Frightmare Weekend in May and an east coast premiere at Bizarre Atlantic City in June. So anyone wanting to see a sneak-peak of the film, can come out to one of these events and meet me, director Billy Pon, Bill Oberst Jr. and Parrish Randall. DEAD SEA if coming out on VOD/DVD in late spring and ALICE D. will be out later this year too. Still waiting for info on the release of SKUM ROCKS! Next month, I head to Louisiana to film the sci-fi/horror pic THE HALO THEORY and just signed onto THE HATCHED LADY, shooting this fall!! Can’t divulge any details just yet, but stay tuned.

CR4UKHS – You have had extensive dialect coaching from the “Master of Voices”, Bob Corff, helping you perfect numerous accents, from British to Southern. I am from Yorkshire in England, can you do a good Yorkshire accent?


CR – Ha! Better than your pudding.


UKHS – You’re that good? Our Yorkshire Puddings are made from plain flour, eggs and milk but what would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

CR – I’d say the three main ingredients for any film regardless of genre are: 1) a great script 2) an extremely talented Director of Photography and 3) an amazing editor and of course talented actors to carry it. Guess there are four main ingredients.
CR5UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you? 

CR – Being the always over-prepared person I am, with full survival kits in both my house and car, I’d natural choose a knife, a lighter……of course!! survival expert, Bear Grylls! Wait. Since I have Bear, I’ll nix the lighter and knife, for waterproof mascara and lip gloss!


CR6UKHS – Finally, what is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?

CR – I’m prepping for a couple of projects now, that are going to be quite a challenge. I’m to play a woman with an inoperable, debilitating disease, which is definitely a big foray from my horror characters. With any project, there’s always a certain amount of prep involved. Some just more than others. I’ve spent hours upon hours researching, studying, perfecting accents and even going as far as getting professional tactical weapons training and staying in a real haunted house to prepare.

CR7UKHS – Thank you for your time Chanel. Good luck with all your amazing projects and keep up the great work.

CR – I must insist on thanking you! I would like to say hello to all the UK readers! I try to end every interview with a plea to spay and neuter your pets. Together we can end homeless animals. If you are thinking about getting a pet please adopt!! There are so many wonderful animals at your local shelters and animal rescues just waiting for good homes. You can keep up with me online at:


Chanel Ryan’s Website


You Tube