ABC Family’s “The Initiation of Sarah” isn’t an awful quasi-horror film, it’s just incredibly weak and bland. It’s never intentionally a very weak film, it’s just so lost in its own attempts to mimic a certain show about yakking women that it can’t find its own niche. What do you expect from a movie whose heroine has sex to prevent from being sacrificed as a virgin? “The Initiation of Sarah” is like a harder edged “Sabrina,” it’s a PG-13 “Suspiria,” and while that’s not always a bad thing, it’s just never interesting enough to warrant my full attention.
While watching, I found myself interested in accomplishing other tasks like clipping my nails. That’s sad, especially since I take poor care of my nails. Either way, it’s the basic plot. Two girls arrive at college, are pledging sororities, and two are competing for the pledge of Sarah, a “rebellious,” and “edgy” girl who isn’t interested in conformity, in spite of her sister’s best efforts to involve her. One consolation is the hot women, but much of that is lost in the muck of semi-fantasy, and utterly lethargic characterization. The writers are so intent on forcing the “powerful but out of control” heroine type on us so repetitively that it eventually becomes goofy. There are at least three sequences of our character Sarah who lashes out with her powers and runs off in a whiny fit.
I couldn’t help but laugh thinking back at “Not Another Teen Movie” when our main character is humiliated and just keeps running around crying. But we learn that Sarah is “The One.”There’s always a “One,” isn’t there? There are so many “One’s” that the whole cliché becomes so utterly exhausting, and I could care less what type of “One” Sarah was. Because this “One” is not some “One,” because she’s very unkempt and like so totally Goth and stuff. How can you tell Boorem’s character Sarah is edgy and Goth? She has streaked hair, studded wrist bracelets, talks as if she’s always on the verge of tears, and she’s extremely blasé about going to college. They need her blood, I think, to feed an eternal flame that has… plans or something.
I was fuzzy on the details. Take a few people from the CW, a few from “The OC,” and mix them together to make one long weak, bland, and lightweight horror movie for teen girls featuring bitchy characters and a plot that moves at a slug’s pace. Add some forced drama, and Tilly as a hilariously over the top resident evil she-bitch, and you get a horror fantasy for the “Goosebumps” crowd, which is right up ABC Family’s alley. We really didn’t need another “The Covenant.” You can’t completely go hard on “The Initiation of Sarah,” I mean it’s not intentionally a sub-par light weight horror effort, it just ends up that way lost in a mist of “Gilmore Girls” characterization and diatribes, and suspense on par with R.L. Stine. While I have to support Summer Glau, the film is so cheesy and weak it can’t even stand.