This is the fourth film in the Poison Ivy series and its star power has descended from Drew Barrymore, to Alyssa Milano, to Jaime Presley, and has finally fallen on Degrassi: The Next Generation actress Miriam McDonald; which is sure to fulfill a handful of strange Canuck fantasies.
McDonald plays Daisy, the new girl on campus who is apparently a “tom-girl” because she wears jeans…and is from the country (I guess). It’s a fish-out-of-water story to start where she is scoffed at by the cool girls for showing up in a taxi, and gets a meet-cute moment with the richest boy on campus. She turns out to be the biggest prospect in the whole Political Science Department, despite being a freshman, which makes her a target of the “Ivys.”
The Ivys are a secret society that EVERYBODY knows about and is based on the fictional Beckshire College campus. The film tries to make the Ivys come off as mysterious and mystical by piping in chanting of meaningless, ancient Latin sounding gibberish and by having the characters repeatedly claim it has created and controls many major CEOs and senators in America. In this film, this oh-so powerful society has narrowed its focus to pettier goals, namely that of getting their young leader into a nice 8-week extra curricular course. Really, they’re just a mean-spirited sorority that only manages to come off as extreme towards the end because of one of them (and only one) is capable of murder. Beyond all this, it is all the same ‘mean girl’ tripe we see in all too many teen dramas.
These nasty girls get their way by being cocky and having sex with people…well, two from the same family at least, that rich boy I mentioned earlier and his father who is the Poli-Sci professor. Daisy is pulled into the society simply because, if she wasn’t then there would be no plot. She is given a makeover, as I’m told by every single character onscreen who sees her afterwards, but I didn’t see it. All I saw was a lame montage to promote a certain salon (I guess it exists in the real world since the camera distinctly cuts to its label) and Daisy changing her jeans into an office appropriate skirt. This makeover is a perfect metaphor for the entire film. I am TOLD something happens over and over again but barely anything actually does happen.
The whole story builds with no thrills or surprises. There are plenty of topless scenes to try and put bums in seats but every sex scene is so corny that it lowers the film even further into cheap softcore porn territory, which is what it comes off as in the end.
Enchanced 16:9 Widescreen. Acceptable direct-to-TV level quality and clarity which is no surprise since it was made for the Lifetime network. The colours are fine and the balance is okay. It looks cheaply made because it was but at least those working behind the cameras are not inept.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Decent I suppose, but it often feels like it might as well be stereo with the lack of full bodied mixing. The music is considerably louder than everything else and is infrequent enough that it surprises you and overtakes the film when it appears (often during montage or sex scenes). There is no great sense of immersion while watching. That is assuming, of course, that one can sit through enough of this film to even acknowledge the sound.
Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.
None at all.
This is a lame entry in a sad series of film that should be forgotten before it is even discovered. I have always had a problem with film like this and Cruel Intentions (which is at least cheesy in a funny way) because they insist that being rich and slutty makes a character instantly charismatic and powerful, which it does not. The audience is told to be afraid and/or turned on by the characters, but that is all. One cannot simply follow orders to make a film work. I did not buy what Poison Ivy: The Secret Society had to sell, and there was little of anything to begin with. Degrassi fans, you are the only ones who might have a reason to see this film, as Spike’s daughter Emma ( I had to Google that name) does strip down a few times…but that novelty has to stand alone amongst a large pile of irritating rubbish. Yes, both the plant and the movie of the same name are equally annoying to deal with.
Bonus Perverted Trivia: the lead seductress in this film was the child-lead in Little Giants (with Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neil). Just another childhood gem I though I would rob of its innocence.