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Sponsored by: Sympatico.ca

International Premiere

  • Horror
  • /
  • USA
  • /
  • 2011
  • /
  • 88 min
  • /
  • HD
  • /
  • English
Detention Detention Detention Detention Detention Detention Detention

Hosted by Writer Director Joseph Kahn

Screening Times


Director: Joseph Kahn
Screenplay: Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Jesse Heiman
Producers: Richard Weager, MaryAnn Tanedo, Bob Abramoff
Print Source: Detention Films

Screens with...



North american Premiere
2011 | 10 min



Shanley Caswell is Riley Jones, high school outsider. Riley is a girl without a place on the adolescent social ladder. Or at least, a girl without a cool place. Not attractive enough to be one of the cool girls. Not sporty enough to fit in with that crowd. She’s a bit awkward, a bit clumsy, a bit too smart for her own good, and she can’t even win at Debate Club anymore thanks to the perversely convincing arguments of the visiting Canadian exchange student. She’s also in love with Clapton Davis (Josh Hutcherson) who is, in turn, smitten with vapid cheerleader Ione. Thus Riley wants to die. At least, she thinks she wants to die. But that’s before the arrival on the scene of an actual, honest-to-God, movie-style slasher killer who is all too willing to help her along to her bloody end. Then the prospect becomes significantly less appealing.

Laced with absurd asides and enormously self-aware humour, and stuffed with a few more ideas and images than it’s quite sure what to do with, Joseph Kahn’s DETENTION is DONNIE DARKO on speed. Lots and lots of speed. A film that riffs equally on John Hughes and John Carpenter, it intertwines the angst-ridden, postmodern teen comedy with slasher and sci-fi elements, and then ramps the tempo of it all up to a dizzying pace. Call it what you will, but it's certainly never boring. Produced purely independently on a tiny budget by writer-director Kahn (TORQUE), DETENTION is one of those “why stop with the kitchen sink?” sort of movies, one that jams absolutely everything possible into its slender running time. And it’s entirely to Kahn’s credit that he manages to maintain the hyperkinetic pace and bizarre logic in which elements lifted straight from Disney teen classics, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, and the work of David Cronenberg nuzzle up to a teen romance and a time-hopping plot to end the world — and it all actually makes sense.

—Todd Brown

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