Updated: Sep 28
Anchor Staff Writer
We are no strangers to dark, high school dramas. Admittedly terrifying, this genre of film takes the already scary high school environment and magnifies the nightmares of classrooms and social cliques. Netflix’s new, “Do Revenge” has entered the scene as the newest challenger to the genre, joining “Mean Girls” and “Heathers” as another high school gone-wrong movie.
Rosehill Country Day is an outlandish private school made to teach the children of the fabulously wealthy. As Drea, a student on a scholarship, works her way up the social ladder and becomes the infamous queen of the student body, she’s tasked with creating a flawless persona in order to achieve her goal of attending Yale. However, her plans go south when her allies, her boyfriend included, turn on her out of jealousy and ruin her reputation. The situation only worsens when Drea takes action and confronts her former partner, Max. As a result, her attendance at Yale is threatened and Max walks away from their relationship without repercussion. It is only when Drea meets a transfer student, Eleanor, who also has some skeletons in her closet, that she finds independence from the traitors she calls friends.
Eleanor is suffering a similar misery. Upon transferring to Rosehill, a rumor from her past resurfaces and she is forced to once again face false accusations. For years, she has been followed by the consequences of a heinous act she didn’t commit. Like Drea, Eleanor finds her reputation ruined without recompense. The two girls bond over their injustices and hatch a plan to take revenge on their opposers using their own advantages: Drea’s charisma and Eleanor’s status as the mysterious new student. The film follows the pair as they weave a web of lies, neither hesitant to delve into some morally-gray areas as they commit blackmail and even sabotage, demolishing the academic career of another student. Sound familiar?
Rosehill Country Day became a playground and quickly, “Do Revenge” traversed from a typical high school drama to something straight out of a thriller. Eleanor and Drea were consumed in their plotting, both becoming the very people they set out to defeat. Drea drowns in her vengeance and forgets her friendship with Eleanor while the latter becomes a little too accustomed to the spotlight that Max and Drea’s former crowd can provide her. The girls inevitably turn on each other and both are revealed to be not-so-innocent, contributing to a series of plot-twists that had my jaw on the floor.
“Do Revenge” was admittedly chaotic, but I do not think it was executed poorly. Somehow, the revolving door of unseen twists and turns made for a film I could not predict an end to. The atmosphere was playful, yet looming, as the power some of these students held in the palms of their hands was implied through their dramatic homes, lavish parties and grand outfits.
The actors and their characters had great chemistry, and it was refreshing to see Maya Hawke and Camilla Mendes outside of their elements: namely, “Stranger Things” and “Riverdale.” I am ecstatic that the movie lived up to the hype it received and can only complain about the ending. With the extensive plot the film created, the final 10 minutes were somewhat glossed over as the producers rushed to clean up the mess the characters created throughout the majority of the film. I only regret that the puzzle pieces of such a complicated story were fit together on a time-crunch and not given enough room to provide a more satisfying end to Drea and Eleanor’s story.
From mean girls to vengeful exes, “Do Revenge” offered enough drama and a fierce enough plot to satisfy any movie enthusiast, creating one of the most surprisingly enjoyable Netflix originals of the year. It proved to be a great addition to the teen-drama genre and a great experience for those wanting to revisit their high school years with some added chaos.