Director Rolfe Kanefsky's (THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE)new movie, THE HAZING, is one of the best horror films I've seen all year. I really thought that this was going to be another movie where a group of college-aged youths are trapped in a house and killed off one by one, with, of course, some gratuitous nudity thrown in every ten minutes. You know, another generic movie that's been done to death.Well, the movie IS about that particular scenario-yet Kanefsky manages to have fun with the stereotypes, and the genre, and surprisingly turns things around. None of the characters are exactly what you'd think they'd be. The script is swift, the dialogue clever, and the special effects right on the mark.A group of pledges, 3 guys and 2 women, are to obtain a long list of Halloween themed items (such as a photo of Bruce Campbell) by the next day and then spend the night in 'Hack House', an old mansion where the owner had killed his wife and himself years ago. The pledges are also all dressed in different Halloween costumes, from a werewolf to a space-woman.This Halloween, though, one of their college professors (Brad Dourif with an English accent) is planning on opening the gateway to hell and in the process free his soul from his body. This will make him extremely powerful and give him the ability to take over other people's bodies. Two of the students stumble upon him standing over a dead body and he attacks them, though he himself is almost killed.They call 911 and an ambulance takes the near-dead professor to the hospital.One of the other pledges finds his ancient spell-book and reads a passage, thus finishing the ritual and opening the gateway. He's taken over by the professor's soul-and goes to kill his companions.There's lots of running around, some strange things happen to a few of the peripheral characters, and the 'hero' turns out to be the last person you'd stereotypically see in this type of movie. It all works extremely well, even the open-ended ending. So check this movie out. It's definitely worth a rental. From MTI video.