Review of Heathers

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Year: 1989 - Runtime: 102 - Director: Michael Lehmann - Writer(s): Daniel Waters
Country: USA - Language: English - Parental Guide: R - Color: Color

HeathersRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆


Christian Slater goes against character type by playing a bad boy, and Winona Ryder goes against character type by playing a a witty goth “against the norm” girl in this High School dark comedy. Ok, so Heathers isn’t breaking stereotypes of reinventing its own wheel, but it does offer a peculiar look at a peculiar subject with a wit and charm that very few films could put together. Suicide is one of the untouchables. So it is remarkable that the cast and filmmakers crafted something so honestly enthralling and funny without being taboo and pretentious. In 1989, this is quite a feat. Heathers touches on reigning High School topics without being stuffy or egotistical, and manages to craft an addicitive and charming story through all the quirkiness.

Reason to Watch

Lots of attractive High School girls that we can only hope are much older in real life than the age they play on television. It also allows us to make fun of High schoolers without having to pull up to our old High School in beat-up Chevy’s to tell them ourselves.


Heathers is dark, weird, and potentially too niche for everyone to relate to. Unlike something like The Breakfast Club, which is too catch-all to ctach anyone off guard, Heathers is darker and more twisted in construction and execution. The context, truly, is that Heathers holds little back, and succeeds brilliantly because of it.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Veronica Sawyer: It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer. 
  • Heather Chandler: You wanted to be a member of the most powerful clique in school. If I wasn’t already the head of it, I’d want the same thing. 
  • Heather Chandler: Grow up Heather, bulimia’s so ’87. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

If you are not a High School girl, and never have been, a current High School girl or a girl who was in High School in the 80’s will do just fine. if you are or were a total nerd, this movie may go right over your head. Though do keep in mind for you nerds, the movie has more vengeance than a Superman spin-off series.


Main bad boy J.D. is a direct reference to famous Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger and iconic bad boy, James Dean

A character tricks another character into killing someone by saying that the gun shoots special non-piercing bullets called iche luges.” Iche luge is German for I’m lying

The film was considered as putting Christian Slater on the map as an actor. The film barely grossed a million and failed to make its budget

Educational Content
  • Many parallels to Columbine can be found in this film. Not a comedic point, but a frightening one
  • Much of this film is based on real events in Ohio circa the mid 80’s. Be glad you didn’t grow up there
Justification for Rating

The movie holds up well, but is perhaps too bizarre for its own good. For every attractive high School girl, there is a lame bad boy who hogs screen time.


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