Friday, February 11, 2022

Line Sisters, on Lifetime

In a twist, it is the hazer who is killed during four friends’ sorority initiation accident rather than the pledges. Regardless, the same laws of class reunion retribution still apply. When they get together for their alma mater’s Greek week homecoming festivities, a masked psycho looks to deliver some payback in Tailiah Breon’s Line Sisters, which premieres tomorrow on Lifetime.

Being accepted by the historically-black sorority ABO really meant something to Valerie, Dominique, Cassandra, and Simona. That is why they decide to do things right and complete the risky traditional initiation swim their pledge trainer wanted to waive. Presumably, this decision will not make much sense to anyone who went through Greek pledging, but whatever. The long and the short of it is the pledges made it across, but not Big Sister Jody. Oh, but of course, there must be more to the story.

Fifteen years later, the four reunite for a week of nostalgic partying on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Technically, they thought it would just be three of them, but the estranged Simona seems to think Valerie invited her too. As soon as they arrive at their “plantation house” rental, someone starts playing some cruel pranks on them. However, this homicidal stalker has a case of stage fright, because it takes over an hour for our unknown subject to final chalk up a kill.

Line Sisters cannot go full-on slasher when it is intended for commercial broadcast, but you need a few bodies to approximate some level of And Then There Were None-style suspense. Unfortunately, the tension just isn’t high enough and the stakes feel too low, until first blood is finally drawn. The killer’s secret identity is also glaringly obvious to anyone who doesn’t sleep through the first ten minutes.

On the plus side, screenwriters Jasmine S. Greene and Scott Mullen penned some knowingly witty dialogue. It can’t hold a candle to Wes Craven’s original
Scream, but it beats expectations. Refreshingly, the primary cast-members also realistically look like they have lived through fifteen eventful years after graduating from college. Of the fab four, Drew Sidora brings the most energy and humor to the film as Dominique, a mildly Ab Fab-ish women’s shelter proprietor. (She was also on Real Housewives of Atlanta, which is why there is an in-joke reference.) On the other side of the spectrum, Cassandra is just a woefully underwritten perennial victim, who grows ever more tiresome.

As someone raised on 1980s horror movies, we think slashers need to slash. Instead, there is a lot of time spent waiting for the killer to show up again, to TP the yard or something. The theme of sisterhood should appeal to the network’s demographic, but as a thriller of some kind,
Line Sisters is totally betwixt and between—not slashery enough for horror and too obvious for mystery. It can be watched without experiencing acid reflux, but Line Sisters is not recommended when it airs tomorrow (2/12) on Lifetime.