Heathers – The perfect accompaniment to your October horror-fest!

heathers poster

By Catriona Campbell, Arts Editor

The month of October: the nights draw in, pumpkin spice lattes are back and the spooky season is in full swing. One of the classic Halloween traditions is to scare yourself silly whilst binge watching scary movies. However after a while, all of the blood and screaming teenagers can all blend into one and it can begin to get almost exhausting yelling at the people to ‘not do the stupid thing that you know they’re going to do anyway’. That’s why, I’d like to offer you a suggestion in the form of cult movie ‘Heathers’. One of the darkest comedies to have ever been made, this movie can offer a little respite from the endless horror of typical Halloween movies whilst still providing enough bleakness to keep the spooky season alive.

The movie itself revolves around Veronica, a girl in her final year of school who’s got that slight “too cool for school” vibe who finds herself part of a Mean Girls-esque clique. A combination of growing resentment towards this group and an infatuation with the new boy in school leads to her accidentally bumping off the head of said clique. Hilarity ensues. That last sentence was only semi-sarcastic as the scene is set for great moments of dark humour including a fabulously trippy funeral scene. The script itself has some amazingly quotable lines, most of which are unfortunately too risqué to print here. This can help to create a bit of relief from the tension that is constantly building throughout the movie before giving into a final act that will have you on the edge of your seat. Also helping to break up the tension a little, are some beautifully raw poignant moments which help to drive the main message of the move through however at no point does it slip into sentimentality. As for aesthetic purposes the movie serves some very well-framed moments, furthermore the 80s styling from the clothes to the cars throughout the film are so in tune with the times but also gorgeous to watch on screen.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this movie, despite the fact that it is on the surface clearly an 80s movie, is that the main themes are ones which are no less relevant today. The classic high school tropes of cliques, queen bees and bullying are all well covered in a way that still feels authentic. The parody of the media’s response to the event is one which, unfortunately in a way, still rings very close to home. Veronica, the main character, is someone well worth looking up to and is still ridiculously relatable, even in the 21st Century. She’s the type of person whose Instagram you know you’d follow for some on point life advice.

Heathers is more than worthy of a place in cult history, it’s influence can be seen in many of this generations favourite movies including Mean Girls and Clueless and in popular TV Shows such as Scream Queens and Stranger Things. Sadly, though, it seems that Heathers always gets overlooked when praising great teen movies though, perhaps because of the dark subject matter (the movie itself heralded a lot of controversy upon its release), this shouldn’t put you off though. The movie manages to hit that perfect balance of surreal in a realistic world. With rumours of both a Broadway show and a TV remake of Heathers apparently on the cards, what better time to watch the original? It’s that perfect film if you need a break from unrelenting horror in October, but still want a bit of dark quirkiness.} else {