Spoilers think it was Heather’s turn.
First of all, a little bias confession. This is an old favorite of mine. I know there’s was a musical and a revamped tv series, but I’m not going to touch those. This movie mostly exists in its own time and universe and deserves to be reviewed in that context. It was a satire but actually got very close to the school clique thing in real life. It criticized the society and its view on teenage suicide using sarcasm and dark humour without remorse.
Heathers (1989) was directed by Michael Lehmann and written by Daniel Waters. Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) has joined the most powerful clique in school formed by Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) and Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty) but as she must struggle to do their bidding, she is already having regrets. Newcomer transfer Jason Dean, “J.D.” (Christian Slater) seems to offer Veronica a way to escape her troubles… and walk into a considerably darker path of murder and mayhem.
The idea of literally killing Veronica’s frenemy might have been in JD’s mind from the start, but Veronica is definitely not cool with the idea of committing Heathericide. Those thoughts cross our minds sometimes as dark, bleak fantasies but common sense is supposed to prevail in the end. The fact that Heather becomes in everyone’s minds a less shallow character is telling in the way they’re all quick to retcon her history as more of a meaningful member of society. The society in this case is high school of course.
The teenage suicide angle in this dark comedy is not actually satirized, but the way that the rest of society, or the microcosm of society that exists in high school is willing to treat. It’s obvious that the rest of the cliques do not care and the few that do care more about their idea or interaction with the persona of Heather. Even acts of compassion all seem to be tainted with ulterior motives. When professor Pauline Fleming (“Phlegm” as the students call her) insists on getting everyone together to hold hands, it’s to further her own agenda.
The film itself has such iconic and eerie imagery that it’s hard to tell things are not real during Veronica’s dream sequence, one that seems to be taken right out of Beetlejuice (1988), complete with spooky lighting and Glenn Shadix as Father Ripper delivering the eulogy. It’s also incredibly rich with quotable quotes and suspenseful soundtrack. The violence is toned down according to today’s standards in action movies, but definitely still higher than modern high school comedies. The sarcastic takedowns are more severe. Of course, it also has a higher body count.
Highly recommended with a dose of nostalgia. I think modern audiences might find some things quite over the top aggressive and violent but the dialog is still on point. It’s got a lot more swearing than most high school comedies but about the same than most high schools. Considering the amount of high school shootings, it’s probably still debatable to show it to younger audiences although the satire on both students and teachers is rather on point. Very much worth your time. How very.
That will do for now.