Detention (2011 film)

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Detention 2011 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joseph Kahn
Produced by
Written by Joseph Kahn
Mark Palermo
Music by Brain & Melissa
Cinematography Christopher Probst
Edited by David Blackburn
Detention Films, LLC
Distributed by Sony Pictures
Release dates
  • March 13, 2011 (2011-03-13) (SXSW)
  • April 13, 2012 (2012-04-13)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $10 million

Detention is a 2011 American satirical horror film directed by Joseph Kahn, and co-written with Mark Palermo. The film premiered March 2011 in Austin, Texas at SXSW.[1] Detention stars Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Spencer Locke, Shanley Caswell, Walter Perez, Organik and Erica Shaffer. Produced by Richard Weager and MaryAnne Tanedo.


The film centres on Riley Jones (Shanley Caswell), a suicidal social outcast at Grizzly Lake High School who harbours an unrequited love for ironically named hipster, and friend since childhood, Clapton Davis (Josh Hutcherson). Clapton is, in turn, head over heels for Ione Foster (Spencer Locke), a beautiful self-absorbed cheerleader who was once best friends with Riley. Their friendship collapsed after Ione pursued Clapton, despite knowing of Riley's feelings for him. All three are waiting out their final year of high school, but it's anyone's guess if they'll ever see graduation, as a serial killer known as Cinderhella is on the loose and preying on Grizzly Lake's student body. The principal (Dane Cook) is certain Cinderhella is a disgruntled student at the school and figures he can keep the prom from turning into a bloodbath by putting the likely suspects in all-day (10:00 AM-10:00 PM) detention on the day of the big dance.


Director Joseph Kahn and actress Shanley Caswell at the screening of Detention at the LA Film School, April 2012.


Financed largely by Joseph Kahn himself, principal photography began in Los Angeles, California in August 2010 and finished shooting October 2010. The Director of Photography, Christopher Probst, shot the film digitally on Red Ones.[2] The production set visual effects supervisor is Chris Watts and post production visual effects supervision by Ingenuity Engine in Hollywood, California. Production Design for the film was by veteran music video and commercial designer, Marcelle Gravel.


Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired this film's worldwide distribution rights,[3] and opened the film on April 13, 2012 in select US theaters. A Canadian release followed on April 27.

The film was released via DVD and Blu-ray on July 31, 2011.


The film received mixed reviews, maintaining a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 39 reviews, and 46% from audiences. On the similar site, Metacritic, the film has a rating of 45/100.


Detention won the Youth Jury Prize at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival.[4] The film also won L’Écran Fantastique Prize 2011 at Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival as well as the Midnight Extreme Award at Spain's Sitges. London's Frightfest gave it the Biggest Surprise Award and organizer Alan Jones named Detention as his overall favorite film of the festival in 2011.[5] Critic Devin Faraci called Detention "Insane, Hyperkinetic, Next Level Filmmaking."[6] Drew McWeeny of Hitfix described it a "manic throwback horror comedy for the Twitter generation."[7] Quint of Aint-It-Cool-News raved "time traveling teen pop culture comedy Detention is a runaway freight train of frenetic energy!"[8] Renn Brown of CHUD said "Detention may very well be completely brilliant (5 of 5 stars)."[9] Kevin Sommerfield from Slasher Studios also gave it a glowing review stating the film "is Scream meets Scott Pilgrim with a dash or two of Kaboom, it makes for one wild cocktail."[10]


  1. ^ Detention – SXSW 2011 Accepted Film on YouTube
  2. ^ Pollock, Jason (2011-03-21). "SXSW/American Cinematographer – Detention's Christopher Probst". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  3. ^ "Sony Pictures Worldwide Takes On "Detention" | Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews". Indiewire. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  4. ^ "37th Seattle International Film Festival Wraps With 2011 Golden Space Needle Awards < News < Seattle International Film Festival". 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  5. ^ Film Fests Fantastic Fest FrightFest UK (2011-09-01). "FrightFest 2011: Ben’s Report". Brutal As Hell. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  6. ^ "Movie Review: DETENTION Is Insane, Hyperkinetic, Next Level Filmmaking". Badass Digest. 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  7. ^ McWeeny, Drew (2011-03-16). "SXSW Review: Joseph Kahns Detention is manic throwback horror comedy for Twitter generation". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  8. ^ "Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  9. ^ Brown, Renn (2011-03-17). "Festival Review: DETENTION (SXSW ’11)". Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  10. ^ Sommerfield, Kevin (2012-08-02). "Hip "Detention" Plays As Wild Slasher Cocktail With No Hangover". Retrieved 2012-08-04. 

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