I'd rather be at Five Guys
Ron Perlman is pretty awesome. He's been an actor on the big and small for many years and has lent his voice to the popular cartoon, Teen Titans. Heck, anyone that can play the weird 80's Beast from Beauty and the Beast show and still have a career should be praised anyway. His run as main character from the Hellboy franchise is probably one of his most popular roles, but he's also starred in a few horror movies as well. He's been in I Sell The Dead, Mutant Chronicles, and Alien Resurrection just to name a few. While the quality of his horror movies range from good to not so good, Ron Perlman has always been a a bright spot. Can the same be said for the movie with a number in it's name instead of a letter? Would Ron Perlman be able to make a possession movie be exciting?
5ive Girls is a 2006 Canadian horror movie starring Ron Perlman (Enemy At The Gates, Hellboy) as Father Drake and Jennifer Miller (Lucky Number Slevin, American Pie: The Naked Mile) as Alex, a young woman with psychic powers. Five years ago, a student at the Catholic school St. Mark's named Elizabeth was attacked by a demonic force. Father Drake rushed to save her, but was powerless to stop the demon, and Elizabeth vanished without a trace. Cut to the present day, St. Mark's has just reopened as a sort of reform school for five troubled girls. Under the strict rule of Headmistress Pearce (Amy LaLonde), Alex and the four other girls are subjected to harsh punishments. Alex begins to have visions of Elizabeth roaming the halls and reveals this to the other girls. It turns out they all have supernatural powers and abilities, Connie is a conduit, Mara can heal, Leah can pass through objects, and Cecilia has ESP. It turns out that Miss Pearce has actually brought the girls together in an effort to conduct a satanic ritual that will bring Elizabeth back. Each girl is possessed and murdered by the demon Legion of New Testament fame, bringing Miss Pearce closer to bringing back Elizabeth, who turns out to be her sister. With Father Drake dead, will Alex and Mara be able to stop Legion and Miss Pearce?
I posted a question earlier asking if Ron Perlman could make a generic movie great. To answer that question in one word, “No.” In two words, “Hell no.” In three, “Hell fucking no!” That's not to say Perlman doesn't put in a good performance, because he does, it's just not enough to pull the movie out of the depths of cliché hell. I do think it's funny though that a nice Jewish boy like Ron has played a priest in more than one movie. All the usual religious/satanic symbols and symbolism are present; the pentagrams, the “demonic” voice, the blood, the crosses. Even if you haven't watched many of these movies, you'll feel like you've seen it all before and will be endlessly bored. With these movies, there is the possibility where you may actually learn something. As a non-Christian/Catholic, I was not particularly familiar with who or what Legion is. They gave a quick description, certainly not enough to really explain the whole backstory and just why the hell he made Elizabeth disappear and why he's back now.
Beyond the weak story, the problems lie within the acting and the special effects. The acting ranges from passable to cringe-worthy. The direction is off in some places, with angsty rock music being played in scenes that don't really need it. It doesn't help that they are given some truly terrible dialogue that sounds like it came from a bad CW teen soap drama. Some jokes and witty banter are tossed in and it just kills the flow of the movie. The special effects are pretty bad and really hurt the overall horror. There are some action scenes, but the overall feel of Catholic school girls running around comes off more like a soft core adult film.
Those effects are "special" alright
5ive Girls (not to be confused with the instrumental metal band or the boy band 5ive) is a typical religion vs. Satan story that has nothing going for it beyond Ron Perlman. I may not have watched the movie if he wasn't starring in it. He does a fine job, but he gets zero help from his supporting cast. The story is painfully cliched, the acting is poor, and the effects are unfortunate. By the end, I didn't care if the characters lived, died, or mushrooms grew out of their asses. Wait, that last one might have at least been interesting. Overall, 5ive Girls will give you the sense of deja vu from a movie you already hate.