Culture / The Saint

Throwback Thursday: “Heathers”

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Story by Ashley Bolek, Reporter
Photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes

Whenever someone asks me to describe “Heathers,” I always say, “It’s ‘Mean Girls,’ but with murder.” It is pretty common knowledge nowadays that “Mean Girls” was influenced by “Heathers.” I first watched “Heathers” my freshman year of college when my roommate was gone for the weekend. Since that day, it has been one of my favorite movies of all time.

“Heathers” is about Veronica Sawyer, played by Winona Ryder, who has been adopted by a group of girls–all named Heather. There is Heather Duke, the one that gets cast aside but wants to be in the spotlight, Heather McNamara, who is a cheerleader that everyone thinks is an airhead, and Heather Chandler, the head queen bee. Veronica knows that the Heathers aren’t good people, but she needs to stay with them if she doesn’t want to be eaten alive by the 80s high school era. That is, until she meets JD, played by Christian Slater, who suggests she just murder them and take them out of the equation.

The stand-out performance, in my opinion, is Ryder. She hits the awkward girl taken under the wing of popular girls fantastically. She is a rebel but really cares about people. Ryder has always been one of my favorite actresses. She and Slater have great chemistry. Honestly, Ryder has chemistry with anyone with whom she shares a scene.. She brings the “dark” to the dark comedy perfectly.

When looking at the storyline in 2018, it seems kind of cliched. It’s about a girl who doesn’t quite fit in, making her way with a popular group and falling in love with the bad boy. But, the storyline is actually kind of unique nowadays because I haven’t quite seen anything like it since this movie. Not only does she fall in love with a bad boy, but she falls in love with a bad boy who wants to murder people and actually goes through with it. At first, the storyline might not seem so unique, but once you actually get into the story, it is. In the 30 years since it has been released, this movie has still stayed unique.

If someone were planning on watching this movie, they would need to go in knowing that it is a dark comedy. The jokes can get very dark and it is not for someone looking for a lighthearted movie to watch. I remember I made my boyfriend’s cousins watch the movie with us and since that, I hardly get to pick the movies for the movie night.

The message of the movie can be a little unclear, but I see it as saying that people tend to romanticize the suicides of popular people, but when people who are actually depressed try and fail, they are seen as copy cats and doing it for attention. Even though the audience knows that they aren’t really suicides, the people in the movie believe they are and they try to publicize the suicides. They think they are actually making awareness, but they aren’t. People are making it about themselves and not the actual topic. I feel like this message is still relevant today because we tend to romanticize mental health issues, but when we see it for real, as a society, we turn our backs and don’t get people the help they need.

If you are ever feeling this way, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Overall, I give this movie a nine out of ten because the message can be a little unclear at times, but it is a great movie, with fantastic acting and a unique storyline. It also has 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. If you want to watch this movie, it is on Netflix currently. There is also a musical based of the movie that I highly recommend. It has some of the most banging music I have ever heard in a musical. There has also been a remake TV series, but that is for a different review because I have some feelings. So go grab a slushie and some spaghetti with lots of oregano and enjoy the movie.

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