This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Heathers is one of those movies that comes across as rather mean spirited. It is partially comedic in nature but I would say it usually still crosses the line into being rather serious most of the time. The characters are unlikable but you still feel bad for them just because in general these can be rough ways to go out. The main character is also extremely gullible to the point where it’s hard to buy into.
So the movie starts by introducing us to Veronica who has become a part of the Heathers clique, a group of bullies who pick on everybody. Apparently Veronica used to be a good person a long time ago but she went over to the dark side and never looked back. Now she is even rude to her old friend and doesn’t have the courage to move away from the bullies. That’s when a transfer student known as JD appears and this guy may not look very tough but he can defend himself. He’s even got a gun on him. The two immediately hook up and he tells her about how he can bump off all of her enemies. She figures these will just be really intense pranks that will put the bullies in their place but gradually he starts to murder them all. Is Veronica next? How can she escape this toxic relationship before it’s too late.
So right off the bat when JD approaches Veronica about taking out the first Heather, it’s clear that he’s trying to be lethal here. She keeps mentioning how they could just put some bad tasting things in Heather’s drink but he jumps right to poison and keeps ignoring her when she tries to stop him. So when he directly murders the first Heather…that should have been it. The relationship should have been over in an instant right? No, Veronica still hangs out with JD which leads to more and more escalations like shooting two guys in the forest. This is already way past the realm of things being normal.
Reporting JD to the cops is the first thing you have to do. You can’t let him forge suicide notes and just keep going. The worst part is that Veronica always does get on board after the deed is done. Her attitude seems to be a sort of “Well it already happened so we should maximize the benefits” which is also twisted. Yeah you can’t really change the past but you can still at least begin to make things right instead of continuing to hang out with the guy. Eventually/Inevitably JD does turn on her and you just knew this was coming. With someone like JD he is always going to keep going further and further down the rabbit hole until someone stops him.
I actually did like his debut with how he took the gun out to stop the bullies. Those two weren’t going to stop so that was an effective way to get him to back off but in the back of your head you knew that it just wasn’t going to end there. The guy was going to keep on going and reaching new heights of terror. In the end he’s just psychotic all the way through and his true colors really began to show. I will say it was a bit sloppy that he didn’t notice Veronica’s trick though. It was certainly a real risky one all the way through and I just don’t see it working. All you have to do is have him reach out and the scheme fails. I’m always a little skeptical on a trick like that working but you’ll have to watch the film to see what trick she comes up with.
At the end of the day the film has a lot of problems but beyond being generally mean spirited with every character just being awful….every character is awful. It’s a strategy that backfires all the time because then you’re not actually engaged or interested in any of the characters on screen. You just get annoyed to see them when they appear because either they are about to die or pick on some innocent student in the meantime. The fact that Veronica was actively one of the bullies was just awful.
Then you have one student who is overweight so of course everyone picks on her and she even tries to commit suicide. It’s a really serious moment in a film that’s not quite as serious and while things work out for her in the end, it does mean that watching this film can be a chore. The film has a bit of a subplot where the school isn’t sure what to do to stop these “suicides” (Since they all don’t know the truth) and it starts to get crazy as the teacher almost seems to encourage it. The school was definitely messed up that’s for sure and there is almost no teacher supervision. I mean it doesn’t seem unrealistic because you hear a lot of crazy stories about school but at the same time it doesn’t make for quality entertainment.
Throw in a single likable character and we’re good. The only one who even seemed interesting was JD’s father who was also a nut. Apparently he’s a mass murderer who is rich and he and JD have some kind of roleplay going on where JD pretends to be the father while the father is the son. It’s all rather twisted but at least this guy had charisma and would have done better than most of the students. By the time you reach the final fight in this film you’re already fairly exhausted.
Overall, This movie is basically the subgenre of revenge film where all of the characters are bullies so someone decides to pick them off one by one but murdering a villain is still murder so now there is absolutely nobody to really root for. The victims are all villains here and the murderer clearly is as well. It ends up making sure that the film loses all of its bite right from the start. Yeah this is definitely a film to stay away from. There are plenty of school drama type movies to watch instead that will be many leagues better than this one.