The House on Sorority Row (1983)

house on sorority row poster 1983
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun slasher film

Pretty generic in plot and story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The House on Sorority Row

Studio:  VAE Productions

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  January 21, 1983

MPAA Rating:  R

house on sorority row girls housemother cast

These girls know how to party!

Mrs. Slater (Lois Kelso Hunt) runs the Pi Theta sorority with an iron fist.  When Vicki (Eileen Davidson) plans a party against Mrs. Slater’s rules, she plans a trick as revenge.  Unfortunately, Vicki’s revenge turns deadly, but Mrs. Slater won’t die easily…and when the girls of Pi Theta begin to disappear, Mrs. Slater might be back from the dead!

Directed by Mark Rosman, The House on Sorority Row is a slasher horror film.  The movie was released to mixed reviews but was a big money maker and is a genre favorite among fans.

The House on Sorority Row is one of those cliché horror films that are often mocked.  The movie has all the clichés:  a house party, a deadly prank, a cranky old person, scantily clad women in danger, and an unstoppable killer…it is a fun combination that does work here for the most part.

house on sorority hill severed head in toilet

So are the pledges going to have to clean this up?

The movie plot is ok, but it also isn’t much of a surprise.  Director Mark Rosman also wrote the script with Bobby Fine and took some of the framework from Les Diaboliques (1955) (aka the body in the pool).  The movie goes for a twist ending which is pretty typical for the genre, but it kind of works here due to multiple plotlines involving Mrs. Slater.

The cast is like many ’80s horror film casts.  No one really jumps out in the film and unfortunately, there are no surprises (like a Kevin Bacon in Friday the 13th or a Johnny Depp in A Nightmare on Elm Street).  It is an average cast, but a slightly more entertaining script than many horror films.

house on sorority row killer scary clown

…and now we’ve suddenly entered “scary clown movie” phase

Visually, the movie also follows the classic slasher pattern.  The unseen killer stalks in a first person visual and kills.  Sometimes the kills are shown (graphically) and sometimes they are unseen…but in classic horror film style, there is a final scene where all the bodies pop-up and you also get another scary horror clown.

The House on Sorority Row might not be as popular as the series of Halloween, Friday the 13th, or A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it also is worthy of those other slasher films.  If you are a genre fan, it definitely is worth seeking out and earns its place with second tier horror films like My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas, and Prom Night.  A remake of the film called Sorority Row was released in 2009.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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