“Bad Reputation”

This is currently a free movie offering on Hulu.com and after watching is sort of a low-budget teen version of “I Spit on Your Grave”.    The story is about Michelle, a shy high school girl from the wrong side of the tracks going to swanky school on some sort of scholarship.    She is raised by a single Mom that is overworked, overburdened and maybe even a bit jealous of her daughter and never seems to have anything nice to say to her.

A popular boy takes interest in her invites her to his party and it seems like it might go in the direction of “She’s All That”, but it seems like his initial motive might have been to try to make his longtime on and off girlfriend jealous, which seems to work.   One of the girlfriend’s friend’s Wendy, sticks up for Michelle and seems to be the voice of reason.

She goes to the party and the boy leads her around the party in front of his seething ex-girlfriend.   Wendy is friendly to Michelle and even relates that she too used to be an outsider when she was fat and known as “Wendy the Whale” but lost weight and everyone seemed to accept her then.   They boy continues to push drinks on her and gets her drunk,  gets her up to his room and starts getting too frisky and she tries to push him off; just then he two friends come in the room and he tells them to lock the door and hold her down.    For being a film with no nudity, the rape scene seems graphic.

To make matters even worse the seething ex-girlfriend and her girlfriend get the passed out Michelle downstair and duct tape her to small tree outside and write “Slut” on her forehead.  Although Wendy initially tries to stop them, the one friend, who ironically should have a bad reputation as she cheats on her boyfriend and doesn’t seem too picky, tells her she had better not intervene or she too could get a bad reputation and be ruined and reminded her she could end up shunned as she was when she was known as “Wendy the Whale”.  Wendy then backs off and does nothing even though she knew what was happening was wrong.   They boy warns her not to tell and no one would believe her anyway as it would be her word against theirs and she would not be believed anyway.

Sadly, Michelle’s self-esteem is so low, she doesn’t tell and she is openly ridiculed and shunned at her school and even apologizes to the (ex) girlfriend when the girlfriend is calling her names and telling her she got what she deserved for trying to take her man.  When she tries to tell her mother after rude messages are left on their answering machine, she blames Michelle.   In a last ditch effort, Michelle goes to a guidance counselor for help, but instead he seems to be eyeballing her like he hopes the reputation is true and she snaps and tells him off.   After that when she snaps and decides to own her bad reputation and use it to exact revenge on those that have harmed her.

I think the low budget film quality added to the realness and except and unfortunately, the first part of the movie is similar to things that happen in high school and college all of the time and some of the behaviors of violence in our schools are of bullied kids that cannot take it anymore and feel they have nothing left to lose by exacting their revenge.   It is a horror flick, so she does just that and or course, it doesn’t end well for anyone.

On Hulu it has two stars, and I guess that is what I would give it as well.   Some compared it to “Carrie”, but the original “Carrie” (not the remake) was a much better movie.  A better movie with a girl that gets a “bad reputation” and owns it, although not a horror flick, is “Easy A” with Emma Stone in the lead.

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