Rob Zombie’s 31 (2016) Review – “Murder School Is Now In Session”



Directed by Rob Zombie Written by Rob Zombie
Starring Sheri Moon, Malcolm McDowell, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs

102 mins - Horror - Release date: 16 September 2016

With the coming reappearance (Thursday, October 20th, of Rob Zombie’s latest horror film, 31, to select screens, I thought that I’d finally sit down and watch the bloody madness.

Now, if you like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more specifically 1986’s sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, then you will probably see the influence and like Rob Zombie’s 31. Needless to say, Zombie isn’t reinventing the wheel here. He has also taken some inspiration from SAW, The Running Man, maybe Cube, and probably many more than I can think of at this moment.


Despite not being completely original, the Zombie written and directed horror feast has some great lines (“Murder school is now in session”), plenty of gore, a cool cast, and some amazing scene transitions. And really, those scene transitions elevated the film, giving it almost a documentary flavor that thus removed the audience from the action in the movie. If it weren’t for these transitions, an audience member might feel like he or she was supposed to include himself or herself in the action as part of the cast of carnival workers — the cast forming this group did give us a sense of bizarre familial closeness that begged for our inclusion.

Yes, basically we follow the cast of carnival workers into a hell-like experience in which they fight for their lives. At first, we’re not exactly sure about which side of the morality line they reside as they are all a little bit crazy, but they do, like in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, travel in a van.

The plot is a little thin, OK, it’s really thin, but the point of 31, I think, was to bring to the genre fans blood, gore, and disturbing entertainment, which commences from the movie’s outset. 31 does this exceptionally well.

31 stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Malcolm McDowell, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs.


The Verdict:

It’s been said that 31 is Rob Zombie’s sickest film to date, but really he made his sickest films right out of the gate with his first two: House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. He brought things to the next level with The Lords of Salem. He’s done neither of these things with 31, but it doesn’t fail for what it is, which is gore. Because the movie wins for its visuals, dialog, an incredible villain, and intense scenarios, I’m giving it a solid 3.5.


Rock Hard \m/

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