Not to be confused with the American teen comedy of nearly the same name, Extracurricular gets a nod for trying something new in the slasher subgenre, but fails to execute anything meaningful from its angle.
Which was promising – the story starts with a couple driving up to a romantic cabin getaway; after a few scenes of atmosphere-setting, the couple are quickly despatched by a group of masked knifers. And then the narrative rug is pulled out from under us by showing us that the protagonists are actually the antagonists – the killers themselves – who are a quartet of regular high-school kids. Who plan and execute murders for fun.
Because the kids are highly intelligent, do well at school and are loved by their parents and peers, you can see a strong influence from the likes of Death Note. But, unlike even the Netflix movie, there is no real conflict, tension or unpredictability in this story, so it’s hard to label. If a drama, it’s never explained why these children have decided to kill, and there’s only a hint of friction among the group. If a dark comedy, the idea of busy senior students finding time to plan murders is humour-ripe but never mined.
Worse than this, it’s just not interesting, and the movie tries too hard to wear its earnest tone on its sleeve via a performance by Luke Goss that belongs in a slightly gritty basic cable series. We don’t care about these people enough to find out what happens to them, and neither the acting nor the characters as written are nuanced enough to hold our interest.
The whole thing feels unpolished, right down to typos in background set decoration (see the ‘Shakespear’ poster above). Watch solely for narrative curiosity, but the film’s blood-soaked finale asserts a cleverness that it hasn’t truly earned.