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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Sorority Row

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Early on in the cut-rate horror tale "Sorority Row" (Summit), a hard-drinking coed who goes by the poetic moniker Chugs (Margo Harshman) watches via computer cam as her brother Garrett (Matt O'Leary) beds Megan (Audrina Patridge), one of her sorority sisters whom Garrett has drugged to make her more cooperative. This uplifting scene pretty much sets the tone for the old-fashioned exercise in exploitation that follows.

The sketchy plot hinges on the fact that Garrett is Megan's ex-boyfriend whom she dumped for cheating. Out for revenge, she and some of her other sisters—Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Ellie (Rumer Willis) and Claire (Jamie Chung)—have concocted a prank that involves convincing Garrett that the supposed date-rape pills he gave Megan (in fact just vitamins supplied by the girls) have poisoned and killed her.

For reasons too boring to detail, the trick goes terribly wrong, and Megan ends up really and most sincerely dead. Garrett and the girls agree to conceal the mishap by dumping Megan's body and claiming she simply disappeared. But their coverup starts to unravel several months later as the female members of the guilty group fall prey, one by one, to a black-robed slasher.

As directed by Stewart Hendler, the gruesome proceedings are interspersed with "Animal House"-style high jinks, gratuitous nudity (predictably, the stalker claims one of his victims in the sorority showers) and the early stages of a number of utterly promiscuous sexual encounters.

The film contains frequent bloody violence, brief nongraphic nonmarital sexual activity, upper female and rear nudity, a couple of profanities, and much rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.

 
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