Recently I went to the cinema to see the 1980s classic ‘Heathers’ with some friends. I didn’t know anything about this film before I went to see it, and so I was definitely shocked by the plotline and the twists and turns that this film took me on. I am aware that this is a cult classic, and so is very well known, but for those who haven’t heard of it, like me, this is a non-spoiler review 🙂
The film ‘Heathers’ gives the impression of a ‘typical’ high school film, akin to something like ‘Mean Girls’ or ‘Clueless.’ At the start of the film, we see the three Heathers (basically three girls called Heather). Popular, pretty and mean, they rule the school.
Their friend, Veronica, despises the ‘main’ Heather, who cuts down anyone in her path and terrorises the school. While she is friends with the Heathers, she secretly fantasises about murdering Heather, and stopping their reign.
And then, after an embarrassing encounter at a party, Veronica accidentally does just that. Veronica and her new boyfriend ‘accidentally’ murder the main Heather, toppling her hold over the school and causing scandal. I say ‘accidental’ because Veronica just wants Heather to vomit and embarrass herself in order to get revenge on her, but her psycho boyfriend switches what would cause Heather to vomit, for toxic cleaning fluid instead. Nice.
Spotting an edition of ‘The Bell Jar’ in Heather’s bedroom, Veronica and her boyfriend cover the murder up as suicide and, due to the rise in student suicides at the time, surprisingly everyone just kind of believes it. Veronica is meant to be brilliant at impersonating handwriting, and so the suicide is supposedly easy to set up, with a note and everything.
I mean, the film was already odd at this stage, with the bright colours, and the fact that all three girls had the same name just adding to the surreal, odd nature of the film. And the croquet- what was that all about! But it only got weirder. I don’t want to give too much away, but after the first revenge murder, things just go a bit crazy, and suddenly there’s a whole lot of ‘suicides’ going on at the school. The dramatic twists and turns of this film definitely made it what it was!
I don’t know whether to say I liked this film, or not. I am a massive fan of cult classic 1980s films such as Dirty Dancing, despite their dubious acting and storylines. And so for that reason I really liked it. The portrayal of these women as fashionable and strong was also really endearing, and the whole 1980s feel was brilliant.
But the whole murder aspect of it made it so odd. I think the fact that I had no idea what this film was about before I started watching it was one of the reasons it felt so bizarre when the murders started happening. From start to finish the film just felt surreal, until it built up to its dramatic conclusion. One thing I would say- don’t expect this to be just your regular high school drama, because it was certainly pumped full of action!
I thought the cast in this film were brilliant. Winona Ryder as Veronica was fantastic, and the fashions of the 1980s were just… wow! So colourful, and so fantastic, they really drew the eye. I can see the appeal of making this into a musical, as much as I really don’t like musicals.
Christian Slater as JD was also brilliant, and his character was both charming, and chilling. At first I thought he was just a bit of a bad boy… turned out he was a lot more than that…
Overall, this was a really funny, interesting and bizarre film! Going into it blind definitely made it an interesting surprise, but I actually really enjoyed it, and I came to love the odd feel of it. I love a good 1980s film, and I’m really glad I went to see this film.
Have you watched this film? What did you think of it? Do you like 1980s classics? I’m really interested to hear what you all thought about this one, so let me know in the comments below 🙂
Picture Credits here