Photo via Netflix
The classic high school flick is a genre of films that has stood the test of time, and Netflix’s Do Revenge is the latest addition to this popular collection that’s sure to achieve cult status in the years to come. Finding the perfect balance between inspiration and originality, this teen black comedy directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is already scoring major points for its fun plot, likable characters, and nod to classic films.
Do Revenge stars Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke as a pair of high schoolers who meet by chance and decide to enact each other’s revenge missions after they are wronged by separate parties. The result is a fun, campy film filled with equal-parts satire and spirit!
While watching, you may come across some references to popular classics, but in case you’ve missed them, here are some major films that Do Revenge pays tribute to.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train is a classic psychological thriller that was based on the book of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. While the target audience for Do Revenge may not have come across the film, it’s clearly a major inspiration for this satiric high school flick. The 1950s classic follows two strangers who meet on a train and strike a deal to exchange their murders with each other so that the killings would never be traced back to either of them. Despite the fact that Strangers on a Train is a noir thriller, and Do Revenge is a black comedy, the similarities in the plot are pretty obvious.
It is impossible to see teenage girls playing croquet on a manicured lawn and not immediately think of Heathers. Do Revenge slipped in that scene perfectly to reference the classic black comedy when Drea visits Carissa at rehab. Much of the dialogue in the high school movie is also very reminiscent of Heathers, with Drea’s quippy one-liners resembling hers and Veronica Sawyer’s. However, we’re not sure anything can stand next to the iconic delivery of, “Well, f**k me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?” though. Not yet, anyway.
When it comes to iconic costuming in a teen movie, it doesn’t get any better than Clueless, but the costuming of Do Revenge does come pretty close with their impeccable styling and accessory pairings. The preppy school uniforms, plaid skirts, and pastel aesthetics of the students of Rosehill Country Day High School mirror that of Bronson Alcott High School, albeit with a Gen Z spin. Do Revenge even takes the homage a step further by including what looks like Cher Horowitz’s signature fluffy pink pen in the film, and naming one of the school halls Horowitz Hall. If that doesn’t seal the deal — and viewers still aren’t seeing the references — the Netflix comedy takes a pick from the Clueless‘ iconic soundtrack with “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde.
while scream and Do Revenge may be on the opposite end genre-wise, there are still many similarities between the two, and director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson seemed to connect the two in her own way. To pay homage to the classic slasher film, Robinson had a fountain built on set to resemble the same fountain from scream where the popular kids sat. The clique tour scene which can be found in most of these movies ends with a shot of the popular kids looking absolutely flawless at the fountain.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)
while Romy and Michele didn’t directly inspire much of Do Revenge, Robinson did reveal that the 1997 movie was on her mind a lot while working on the Netflix project. She also confirmed that Romy and Michele inspired much of the “visual language and the vibes of the costumes” for the film. This is most evident in the admissions party scene where Drea and Eleanor show up in pink and blue outfits, very similar to the wardrobe in Romy and Michele.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Everyone loves a good opposites-attract story, and Do Revenge nails that plot with the romance between Drea and Russ. While Kat and Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You take a while to accept their feelings for each other, Drea and Russ are flirty right from the start. Do Revenge still nods to the 1999 classic with a paint fight scene where the characters share a very sweet moment.
The makeover montage is a staple for many high school movies, but few are as iconic as the reinvention of Fern Mayo in Jawbreaker. Robinson confirmed that she had her mind on Jawbreaker specifically when creating Eleanor’s makeover scene, and viewers can see the similarities, as both girls are transformed in order to fit in with a popular clique. Do Revenge also references Jawbreaker with Drea’s car plate reading ‘DUMB*TCH’ – an obvious callback to Vylette’s, which simply, yet assertively read ‘B*TCH’.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Do Revenge goes out of its way to pay homage to Cruel Intentions, even as far as casting the latter’s leading lady, Sarah Michelle Geller as the headmaster of Rosehill. Robinson said the headmaster’s character was visualized with Kathryn from Cruel Intentions in mind, so casting Geller was a no-brainer. We also see Hawke’s character Eleanor reading Les Liaisons Dangereusesthe novel that Cruel Intentions was based on.
mean girls (2004)
Even though mean girls also draws inspiration from movies that came before it — some of which are even on this list — the movie is in an iconic class of its own, and often referred to as one of the quintessential teen films of all time. One scene from the Lindsay Lohan-led flick that has stood the test of time is the ever-so-memorable chaotic hallway scene, where Rachel McAdams’ Regina George stands still amid the madness that’s ensued on the school grounds. There’s a fantastic homage to this in Do Revenge when Drea recreates this scene following some leaked texts. The character of Drea herself is a delightful mix of Regina and Janis Ian, combining the former’s queen bee attitude with the latter’s spiteful vengeance mission.