New World Pictures via Everett Collection
By the time Thursdays roll around, you’re probably exhausted from a long week and looking for something familiar and comforting to help you forget about everything that’s stressing you out. If the Internet is any indication, the best cure for this kind of fatigue is nostalgia, and the warmer and fuzzier it makes you feel, the better. This week’s Netflix Hand-Picked Flix recommendation for Throwback Thursday is Heathers.
Sure, everyone can quote every line of Mean Girls verbatim, but what if I told you that before Lindsay, before the Plastics, and before “She doesn’t even go here,” there was Heathers? The 1988 cult classic was the original Grand Poobah of high school clique movies, and while Mean Girls satirized the social hierarchy of the average high school with some quick jabs, Heathers hits their target with the all-encompassing destruction of an atom bomb.
Heathers follows Veronica (Winona Ryder), a former nerd who has ascended the ranks of the high school pecking order all the way up to the Heathers (it’s like the American dream). The three Heathers (all girls named Heather) are ultra rich and ultra popular clique who are worshiped and reviled by the rest of the high school. Veronica soon grows tired of the Heather’s mean spirited ways, and plots with the new bad boy in town, J.D. (Christian Slater) to get their own revenge, only things go south very fast when a simple prank turns into outright murder.
Heathers is and uproarious black comedy that’s dangerously audacious and thrilling. It hilariously and acerbically dismantles all of the tropes of high school films with a sharp and dark wit. Even though it was a box office failure at the time of release, the film is a little gem that remains wonderfully relevant. Even today, it still has some poignant things to say about the ways schoolchildren create little societies of abuse.
You can stream Heathers on Netflix, and make sure to check back tomorrow for our recommendations for the perfect Freaky Friday film.