Entertainment Magazine

Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High

Posted on the 01 December 2011 by Cinefilles @cinefilles
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror HighPhoto: impaawards.com
When most people think of George Clooney, they think of the silver foxy cross-generational crush he's become, with his literal movie star good looks and generally good taste in films.  They think of the him strutting his gentlemanly stuff around the set of a critically-acclaimed dramedy (like the recently released The Descendants or Up in the Air), crowd-pleasing, but suave blockbuster (think the Ocean's series) or a politically-charged agenda pic (i.e. The Ides of March).  I like to think of his unforgettable turn in the meta-slasher non-classic, Return to Horror High.


  • This is the opening card. Classroom killings totally "rock."
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • Due to its schizophrenic writing, when the meta slasher, which follows a film crew who gets offed on the set of their new movie (the school mentioned above), goes hard on the straight-faced parody, it ends up playing like a too funny Scream and a too serious Scary Movie.
  • Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormick) plays a cop.
  • George plays an actor playing a cop. 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • George dies in the first 13  minutes. 
  • The movie's main parody technique is the fake-scene-within-a-scene, where you think it's a real kill and it's really just another sequence being staged by the film's film crew. You get what they were trying to do, but there is literally no plot, which can make it hard to follow at times.
  • Meet the pussy-crazed janitor with the squeaky waste basket. Never seen him before ...
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The DVD tagline: "School spirit has never been this dead!"
  • This is a totally legit book. I mean, none of the labels look pasted on ...
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • Death by ... quicksand? 
  • When Maureen's character comes back from investigating, shirt half-open, covered in blood and grabbing at her boobs like she gets off on people getting offed, no one thinks anything of it.
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  •  This is the mask they scared by for the killer. He looks like a paper mache greek chorus member.
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The sole love scene features some minimal man chest action and feet touching cut between flashes of men outside welding and childish drawings on the walls.
  • When they walk into the ladies room to find a blood-covered toilet, our heroine asks, "What happened here?" But considering the rest of the movie, I nearly expected her to say, "I guess they ran out of tampons." In fact, I kind of wish she did. 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • Our hero jokes about piecing out of the finale, in which his girlfriend is getting tied up and caressed with a knife,  saying "the Steelers are playing the Raiders."
  • There is no Horror High from which this film could be returning to.
  • The title card.
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • This is one of the first in the self-referential stream of the genre, and thus, is partially responsible for Scream and the first Scary Movie exist. 
  • Have you ever seen more perfect credits?
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The original tagline, meant to be sung in a cheerleader voice: "Killer to the left. Killer to the right. Stand up. Sit down. Fright! Fright! Fright!"
  • George plays an actor playing a cop. Named Oliver. Who has to leave the set to do a TV show ...  but never makes it because he gets offed after investigating mysterious noises on his way to the parking lot. 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The the first line after George/Oliver's death, spoken by the producer: "Oliver's gone on to better things ... "
  • This quality exchange between the head detective ad McCormick. When he asks how many bodies there are "Six or seven, maybe eight?" "Can't you count!?" "Well, they're not all together sir .. " 
  • In one scene, Maureen talks to the movie's writer, and only supposed survivor of the movie's supposed massacre, by a tree and doesn't say boo about the bloody sheet-covered body propped up on the trunk. Even when it falls over.  
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • It features a semi-astute commentary on the horror industry then and now, not-so-cleverly masked via an on-going struggle between the director, who is looking to do serious psychological damage, and the producer, whose favorite letters are T & A.
  • Maureen describes the intestines of a victim, which appear to have gotten on her uniform, while chowing down on a giant hot dog. 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The writer on the main scene of the crimes, the biology lab, also the setting for all his scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor: "My stuff was BUTCHERED!" 
  • Overheard during a producer's phone interview with a movie magazine: "No, this movie is nothing like Babysitter Massacre ... "
  • Meanwhile in the background ... 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror HighTerribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • "Why does everyone want to go into a deep dark basement without a flashlight!?"
  • The "climax" features a bunch of skeletons ... in identical drag!
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • The "climax" also features Scooby Doo-style mask reveal. The janitor wasn't a janitor after all! He was the principal in disguise. And he was the killer! I think ...
  • After he is revealed, the principal/janitor/killer looks sorta like a hobo Christoph Waltz. 
Terribly Awesome!: Return to Horror High
  • At one point, a character actually says, "Fixing this script would be like polishing a turd!"

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