The In Crowd

Does anybody remember the film Gossip? It came out a couple months ago and died a quick death. Hopefully, The In Crowd will do the same. Thematically similar, The In Crowd is yet another teen suspense thriller. The movie forgets that in order to be a suspense thriller, the movie needs suspense; there is none here. Instead, there are vapid telegenic teenagers (most of them unknown). All the women have unnaturally buxom bodies and all the men look like sculptors chiseled the muscles into their bodies. A better title for this film is Stupid Rich Spoiled White Kids on Vacation.

Adrien Williams (Lori Heuring, 8 Seconds, The Newton Boys) is recovering from a stint in the mental ward. Her doctor, Dr. Henry Thompson (Daniel Hugh Kelly, Chill Factor, The Good Son) gets her a job at a posh country club. No one there knows she was in a hospital, so she has, in effect, a tabula rasa. It seems that the majority of people at this club are spoiled teenagers on vacation, led by Brittany Foster (Susan Ward, Sunset Beach, Malibu Shores). These teenagers, Brittany in particular, cause trouble all day. She gravitates toward Adrien, and the two slowly become friends. Why is another matter. Brittany is creepy and always trying to get Adrien to ditch work or do other things. Adrien notices none of this, despite all the constant warnings her coworkers and Brittany's friends give her.

Brittany's motives are clearly evil. The script by Mark Gibson and Philip Halprin lets us know this. She is always standing in the shadows monitoring events, or evilly rubbing lip-gloss on her lower lip. Events unfold at a glacial pace. The many secrets include why Adrien was in the hospital, and why Brittany obsesses over Adrien. Adrien believes it has something to do with Brittany's missing sister. However, when the story finally reveals them, no one in the audience cares anymore. All attempts at foreshadowing fail miserably. The music becomes suspenseful and all of Brittany's friends pause and look worried when something happens that affects events later in the film. The ending sequence takes so long that it borders on the ridiculous.

The acting is like something that belongs on late night cable. In fact, there are enough references to lesbianism and almost breast shots to qualify for one of those films. But in a way, the acting complements the story. All the characters are hiding behind facades, their outside mannerisms are fake and superficial, which perfectly describes most of the actors. It's easy to pretend they are reading from cue cards. Brittany is so blatant in her actions and everyone is oblivious to them, Adrien in particular. Director Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary, Siesta) is a veteran of music videos, and it shows here. She still needs to adapt to the feature film, which is much longer than five minutes. The story and characters are shallow and need more development. Chances are the target demographic for The In Crowd, teenage girls, who usually watch films questionable enough in quality, will probably ignore this one.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Bad.
1 hour, 48 minutes, Rated PG-13 for violence, sexuality, language, and drug content.

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