Film and Plot Synopsis
In The Row, college freshman, Riley Cole, discovers a dark secret about the sorority house she pledges for. The suicide of a pledge twenty years is somehow related to a serial killer on campus who is now stalking the girls of her sorority. When she learns her deceased mother might have something to do with the old suicide, she finds that she could be the the killer’s prime target. Will her detective-father solve this riddle in time to save her?
‘The Row’ Movie Summary
Riley’s self-proclaimed promiscuous best friend, Becks Power (Mia Rose Frampton) greets her, and after warnings of danger among college students and campuses, they say their goodbyes to the good detective. Detective Cole then runs into an old friend, who happens to be the House Mom of the infamous Phi Lambda Sorority.
Detective Cole screws up on the job
We next cut to Detective Cole and some other officers busting a drug lab and quickly run into a hostage situation. Detective Cole accidentally shoots a fellow officer while trying to save him from the knife carrying girlfriend of one of the drug bosses; landing him in suspensionville.
As Riley and Becks meander around campus, Becks convinces Riley to Rush with her. Specifically, they want to pledge Phi Lambda, and more importantly, because Zeta member cool boy Carter West (Dylan Sprayberry), happens to like Phi Lambda girls.
Riley and Becks attend a rush intro party where Riley steps outside to get a breath of fresh air, and she meets the Valet guy named Miller (Shea Buckner), who claims his sister was a Phi Lambda. Meanwhile, Becks triumphantly gets them an invite to the Zeta rush pool party the next day.
At the Zeta party, Riley meets the chapter president and other members where she finds out that her mother was also a Phi Lambda. This comes as a shock to Riley, but she brushes it off.
The first Sorority Sister meets her maker
During the end of the night, Carter’s fling with Isabella (Sarah McDaniel) heads up to a rooftop apartment where a masked person, wearing a terrible red, stabs her to death. It is unknown whether the killer is a man or a woman because they are wearing unisex black skinny jeans and a zip-up hoody.
It’s Hazing time at the Phi Lamdba house for all the pledges, and the sisters force them into a game of hide and seek. Riley finds herself a good hiding spot under the bed, and discovers Isabella’s dead body, dressed as a doll with plastic mannequin arms sewn into the sockets where someone cut off her arms.
Detective Cole and his team members show up. Riley finds out he has been hiding his suspension from her, and is angry that he hides many things from her. She decides to stay with her new sister friends, in the Sorority house…where they just found a dead body.
Detective Cole and his team members discover a secret app Greek life members use called Row. One cannot simply download it on the app store for either Apple or Android phones. It’s on the Dark Web, so it’s invite only for the app where they give you a special password. It was described as “some illuminati type shit.”
Riley and her friends take Molly and get white-girl wasted out of respect for the late Isabella. Valet Miller rescues Riley from the wake when he drives her home. When Carter finds himself a new girl to take home that same night, the Red Wigged Masked Killer attacks her too. They find her body the next day dressed as a doll as well, but this time, the killer replaced her legs with mannequin legs.
A very hungover Riley throws on a pair of Dark Web sunglasses only to learn that the House Mom knew her mother, and Riley sets out to learn more from her. The house mom refuses to give Riley any information other than telling her that her mother (Margo) was a “mean girl.”
Detective Cole reveals to Riley that Margo was involved in a Hazing incident that left a girl taking her own life over the humiliation. He also reveals to Riley that Margo died in a fire, which he believes she committed herself over the guilt.
Back at the station, the police learn that The Row app is impossible to hack, but with good detective work, the team finds the developer connecting him and Carter to the girls who use the app.
The House Mom spills the beans on Riley’s dead mom
The House Mom then decides Riley deserves to know what happened in the hazing incident…back in the years when Margo was chapter president, Phi Lambda was nicknamed The Doll House. Pledges were forced to “drink until they dropped” and then placed like rag dolls in embarrassing positions around campus. It was said that hazing in the late 80’s/early 90’s made present day hazing “look like kindergarten.” Angie was a victim of this and was convinced the frat boys raped her. Margo and her house mates were unaware of her depression and medication at the time, but that was what led to her setting herself on fire in the middle of campus, naked.
Carter next hooks up with another sorority sister named Ana (Lexi Atkins), and slips out in the early hours of the morning before she awakes. Ana wakes and heads to the shower where the Red Wigged Masked Killer gets all Norman Bates on her naked ass. During the attack, her roommate comes home, so the killer takes her out too, but not before severely cutting the attacker’s forearm. A male grunt comes from the killer.
He stabs the girl, and leaves her for dead, but she was not a Phi Lambda pledge, so only Anna gets the now infamous doll makeup. This time, the killer swapped out a mannequin torso with her own.
The police have a theory about the killer
The detective team hypothesizes that the killer is creating his own doll. However, they have yet to tie this clue to the old nickname of the Phi Lambda house “The Dollhouse.”
Becks is missing, but Detective Cole and Riley find she’s just busy being her promiscuous self as the reason for not answering her phone. (Phwef)
Detective Cole invites Riley to bring Miller over for late night dinner after his dinner with his bosses to release him from suspension. On the way to that dinner with his boss, Cole makes a remarkable connection that a valet attendant doesn’t need to break into Sorority girls homes if he can make copies of their keys.
Miller makes this dinner memorable
We cut to Riley where she’s busy cooking dinner for Miller and her father. When she mentions to Miller that Detective Cole wont be home for a while. Miller’s arm has a bandage on it, and we know what’s up. Miller disappears, and then traps Riley in a room where she discovers the alleged mask with red wig attached. He reveals to her that he is Angie’s brother, and he’s come to take revenge on Riley and the other Sorority girls for his sister’s death.
The detective team, with the help of Det. Cole, links Miller to Angie, and finds his home and moving truck with tools to cut up bodies. They also find his doll project almost complete—just missing a head.
Miller takes Riley to the Phi Lambda house at gun point, but Detective Cole and other armed officers stop him at the door. He now has Riley in the same hostage pose as Detective Cole found himself in at the beginning of the movie. Miller switches weapons from gun to knife in an attempt to cut Riley’s head off, and complete his doll. He also reveals that he was the arsonist who killed Margo. Riley sacrifices her own palm to fight off Miller and his knife while Detective Cole aims and hits his target this time.
With everything tied in a neat bow, Riley and Becks pledge Phi Lambda to become the first freshman who live in the Phi Lambda house. The pledges and sisters now claim to be “the baddest bitches on The Row.”
Additional Film Information
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- The Row director, Matty Beckerman’s official website
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- Read The Row reviews from the folks at Rotten Tomatoes