Q: I'm looking for the name of a movie. It's about teens graduating high school, but their school has a curse where one senior dies every year. I caught part of it on TV recently but I didn't get the name, and I'd like to see the rest.

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Fortunately that's a fairly unique premise, so I can say that it's almost certainly the 2015 horror-mystery "The Curse of Downers Grove."

It's unique, but it's also a very Bret Easton Ellis-ish premise, which is why it's surprising he didn't write the source material. He was involved, though.

Ellis, a novelist and more recently filmmaker, has cornered the market on stories about horrible things happening to (and/or perpetrated by) affluent young people.

All the coverage this film received focused on him, but he only adapted the screenplay and produced the film -- it was based on a novel by another author, Michael Hornburg.

Maybe that's fair, though, because while Hornburg's novel was generally well reviewed (the Chicago Tribune's Robin Hemley called it, "a welcome addition to the canon of coming-of-age literature"), the film was not. Variety critic Dennis Harvey called the film, "a messy hash of teen soap opera, stalker thriller and whatnot whose titular possibly-supernatural aspect is basically irrelevant."

That review is also very Ellis. His stories are generally more focused on critiquing modern social relations than they are on the horrific murders and other activities that fill their plots. See, for example, his novel "American Psycho" which, though its main character is a serial killer, is better remembered for its scene about business card envy.


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