Ripping off "I Know What You Did Last Summer" doesn't automatically make a movie lame. "Dead In 3 Days" did it, and that film's one of the best horror movies in recent years. But taking the framework off another movie and adding absolutely nothing to it does qualify a film for lameness status. And that's what we have here with "Sorority Row," an R-rated slasher flop that promised political incorrectness in the form of topless babes and blood, but basically offered up a bland "IKWYDLS" clone.
The film starts off like a ton of other slasher films with a prank gone terribly wrong. Angry at a guy who had an affair on one of the sisters, a group of sorority "mean girl" types fake a date rape. After the guy gives one of them what he thinks are roofies, she appears to die. The girls take him, and the corpse, out to a secluded location to dispose of the body. When he stabs her with a tire iron, apparently to "get the air out of her lungs," he of course kills her, and the girls aren't sure what to do. They don't want to call the cops because the guy is actually the brother of one of the girls who was in on the joke. So they decide to dump the body in a well, report her as missing and get on with their lives.
Flash forward eight months. The girls have just graduated from college and are set to spend their last night partying on campus when they suddenly start getting weird cel phone messages (a la "Dead in 3 Days") referring to "that night" and, naturally, start getting picked off by a psycho in a hood, brandishing the same tire iron used to kill off Megan during the prank gone wrong. There are some collateral damage kills as well -- including a doctor who helps one of the girls obtain illegal drugs, and the "house mother" played by Carrie Fisher -- to increase the body count.
At about the 45 minute mark, "Sorority Row" has a modicum of tension but it quickly unravels as the story lumbers on, climaxing with a massacre at the sorority's big end of the school year party. Unrealistically hedonistic sorority parties with squealing topless girls aren't enough to give the film any sense of edginess. Ultimately, it's another weak theatrical release for 2009, one of the worst years for mainstream horror on record.