9 Iconic Movies (And 1 Iconic Album) That Influenced ‘Do Revenge’

In the new Netflix black comedy movie Do RevengeEleanor (Maya Hawke) declares herself “a disciple of the ’90s teen movie,” and the same could be said for director Jennifer Kaytin Robinsonwho considers these high school movies “part of her DNA as a person.” Do Revenge has all the hallmarks of a high school chick flick: the nerdy new girl undergoes a makeover montage, only to experience Shakespearean-like backstabbing and betrayal.

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Do Revenge feels both timeless and unapologetically Gen Z. While it pays homage, both aesthetically and tonally, to iconic teen movies from the 90s and early 2000s, the humor is fresh and undeniably 2022. When it comes to Easter eggs, Do Revenge is drowning in them.


‘Mean Girls’ (2004)

Almost every contemporary high school movie pays homage to mean girls and Do Revenge is no exception. Drea (Camilla Mendes) feels like a combination of Regina George and Janis Ian, while Eleanor’s newfound popularity in the name of revenge mirrors Cady Heron’s journey. When Drea causes chaos in the corridors after leaking Max’s texts, it’s a direct reference to Regina in the aftermath of printing out pages from the Burn Book.

Do Revenge is satirically self-aware. When Gabbi offers a tour of the school, Eleanor responds: “I mean, as a disciple of the ’90s teen movie, I would be offended if I didn’t get one.” Much like the “Art Freaks” and “Sexually Active Band Geeks” in mean girlsRosehill is split into the “Instagram Witches” and the “Theatre Kids.”

‘Heathers’ (1989)

When Drea visits Carissa at rehab, she plays croquet on the lawn, an obvious reference to Heathers‘ iconic imagery. The mean girl click in Do Revenge (Tara, Meghan, and Montana) is clearly indebted to the iconic trio of Heathers (Duke, McNamara, and Chandler) from the 1988 cult classic.

The dialogue from Do Revenge is also reminiscent of Heathers. Drea calling Carissa a “human Birkenstock” and crowning Eleanor’s new aesthetic as “high-status c***” could have just as easily been uttered by Veronica Sawyer or Heather Chandler. “I’m sorry, Schoolhouse Rock! Are you dragging my sentence structure right now?” is the Gen Z version of “F*** me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?”

‘Clueless’ (1995)

Do Revenge‘s costume department was clearly inspired by Clueless. The preppy uniforms, complete with plaid skirts and pastel berets, are straight from Cher Horowitz’s wardrobe. Her head-to-toe yellow plaid outfit wouldn’t look out of place in Rosehill. Cher’s iconic pink fluffy pen also makes a brief appearance.

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What high school movie is complete without a stellar soundtrack? Do Revenge has a mix of modern songs (including that “brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo needle drop) and golden oldies. Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” ​​plays when Drea and Eleanor are drugging the other students, a nod to the opening scene of Clueless. Lastly, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter egg is Rosehill’s Horowitz Hall, in honor of Cher’s last name.

‘Elections’ (1999)

While the use of Drea and Eleanor’s voiceovers in Do Revenge may make viewers think of Cher in CluelessRobinson revealed that it actually came from the 1999 political satire Electionwhich utilizes four different points of view to tell a story full of twists and turns.

The most memorable line in Do Revenge—“Narcissists are too busy thinking about themselves to realize they’re being played…”—pays tribute to Election‘s narcissistic teacher who, much like Drea, believes that he is the one pulling all the strings. Jim McAllister’s and Drea’s worlds eventually fall apart when they aren’t paying close enough attention.

’10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999)

When Drea and Russ cut class to throw paint around an art studio, it’s clearly a reference to Patrick Verona and Kat Stratford’s paintball date, where they share their first kiss in 10 Things I Hate About You. Russ’ entire character—a leather-jacket-wearing, motorcycle-driving love interest with a sweet smile—is reminiscent of Patrick. Everyone loves a bad boy with a soft side.

much like mean girls and Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You also has a school tour scene that inspired Do Revenge. It’s a staple of the high school movie, after all. From the “Coffee Kids” to the “Cowboys,” every fictional high school has its cliques.

‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’ (1997)

Many of the outfits in Do Revengeincluding Drea and Eleanor’s blue and pink party dresses, could have been borrowed from Romy and Michele‘s wardrobe. Although the film’s costume designer revealed that Drea’s graduation party outfit was inspired by supermodel Cara Bruni’s 1995 Versace metallic blue gown, the candy-colored ’90s teenage girl fashion in Do Revenge is definitely giving major Romy and Michele vibes.

“We definitely talked about Romy and Michele a lot,” Robinson told Tudum. “I wasn’t directly inspired by Romy and Michele, but that was a movie we spoke about a lot in terms of finding the visual language and the vibes for the costumes. That was a huge touchstone for us.”

‘Scream’ (1996)

Every posh private school comes with a fountain. It’s like a rule of high school chick flicks. Much like the popular kids in screamthe mean girl click in Do Revenge can often be seen sitting by the fountain, looking flawless and gossiping.

The fountain in Do Revenge was actually built especially for the movie. “The fountain in the center of Rosehill does not exist in the location,” Robinson revealed to Vanity Fair. “We built that. And it is an homage to scream. Obviously, Do Revenge is not a slasher, but tonally it’s something that I went to a lot.” Although Do Revenge is not technically a horror, is there anything scarier than a teenage girl hellbent on revenge?

‘Jawbreaker’ (1999)

No high school movie is complete without a makeover montage. from mean girls to Clueless to She’s All That, Do Revenge had plenty of material to work with. However, Eleanor’s makeover was heavily inspired by the transformation of Fern Mayo in the 1999 movie Jawbreaker. “There’s definitely some Fern Mayo energy in Eleanor,” Robinson told Tudumright down to the blond hair.

Another Easter egg is the car license plate that pulls up to Drea’s birthday party in the opening scene of Do Revenge. It reads “DUMBICH” and is quite obviously a nod to Fern/Vylette’s “B*TCH” license plate in Jawbreaker.

‘Cruel Intentions’ (1999)

Do Revenge‘s most obvious influence is definitely Cruel Intentions. Gabbi can be seen reading Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the novel on which the film is based, while a quote from the book is printed on the classroom wall. When Drea and Eleanor drive off together, singing “Bitch” by Meredith Brooksit’s quite clearly a nod to Annette driving off alone at the end of Cruel Intentions.

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Perhaps most importantly, Sarah Michelle Gellerthe original 90s “It Girl” and star of Cruel Intentions, makes a comeback as the headmaster of Rosehill. “[I] literally thought about Kathryn from Cruel Intentions, like, if she was the headmaster of the school, what advice would she give?” Robinson told IndieWire.

BONUS: ‘Reputation’ (2017) by Taylor Swift

While not technically an iconic movie, Robinson revealed to E! news that she was influenced by Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album. With themes of vindication and ostracism, there’s definite “snake emoji energy” in reputation and Do Revenge. Eleanor even references “Look What You Made Me Do” when she says, “the old Eleanor can’t come to the phone right now… ’cause she’s dead!”

The pastel-colored school uniforms are also giving Foliage, although Robinson revealed that wasn’t intentional. However, Taylor Swift herself disclosed that “Death By a Thousand Cuts” was inspired by Robinson’s previous projectSomeone Great. With Este Haim on the score and Maya Hawke’s Women in Music Pt. III shirt, the Taylor Swift Cinematic Universe is ever expanding.

KEEP READINGDoes ‘Do Revenge’ Do Justice to Its Predecessors?

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