Toronto After Dark 2018: Our Review of ‘Extracurricular’

Toronto After Dark 2018: Our Review of ‘Extracurricular’

Extracurricular drops us into the lives of four high school seniors whose day to day lives at school were getting a little dull, until they made a pact to plan and execute a series of perfect murders and get some thrills before they head off to college.  However when their latest plan hits some unexpected speed bumps, will the group manage to keep it together in this deadly situation or will everyone and everything get washed out in a sea of violence and blood.

This film’s comparisons to The Breakfast Club (but with more gore) is thin and mostly inaccurate as Extracurricular is nothing but a well shot bore of a film that while having some moderately satisfactory violence at both beginning and end is mostly unsatisfactory exposition in the middle as they just sit around and talk and gossip like high school kids do.

I can’t knock Ray Xue as a director as there are a few impressive visual moments in the film and while it occasionally gets a little too fancy with overlong tracking and wide shots,  it never really looks cheap or low budget always keeping us visually engaged with the material.

The script is the real problem here at the entire narrative plays out in a super severe manner for all 89 minutes and by the end of it all, no one really cares what happens.  Sure the ensemble cast is relatively inexperienced but they all do their best and the tease of Luke Goss is exactly that because he’s barely in it.

It’s not the fault of Extracurricular that it exists; most everything has an audience, but with this it certainly isn’t yours truly.  However, someone simply should have known better then to program this at a renowned film festival in a major film centre like Toronto.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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