Deadly Scholars is a new thriller on Netflix that also goes by the title #SquadGoals. It’s better than expected for the most part but the ending is such an anticlimax. It’s simply too cheesy and obvious. On Netflix in the US now!

Deadly Scholars is a new thriller on Netflix that was quite a bit better than expected. For a long time, I found myself intrigued by the plot and characters.  Unfortunately, the ending is such a letdown.

The movie has also been known as #SquadGoals and was produced by the company that makes a lot of Lifetime movies. They also produced the movies Deadly Switch and Only Mine which were released on Netflix recently. Especially the latter was pretty good!

Recommended reading: Check out our review of the true crime movie Only Mine here >

Officially, Deadly Scholars is a drama thriller, which is actually very appropriate. Mostly because the plot is driven forward as a thriller while the ending is all drama. It works out all right but is very cheesy in oh so many ways.

From #SquadGoals to Deadly Scholars

While the title #SquadGoals might not be the appropriate choice for this movie, Deadly Scholars does make it sound very much like a horror movie. And if you watch this movie expecting horror, you will be disappointed.

However, that’s not to say it doesn’t have quite a few things going for it. I was surprised by how interested I became in the story. Okay, no, it’s not like I’ll be watching it again. But had the ending been better, the overall experience would definitely have been more positive.

The title of #SquadGoals refers to a blog which doubles as the school paper, so in that sense, it wasn’t a strange choice.

Deadly Scholars Review – Netflix Thriller

If you’re looking for a teen horror movie on Netflix, then you should check out The Detained instead.

Also read: Our review of the campy teen horror movie The Detained on Netflix >

While the title Deadly Scholars changed its title, so did The Detained, which was apparently first called Deadly Detention. Apparently “Deadly” is a real buzzword for movie titles released on Netflix in 2019.

Watch Deadly Scholars on Netflix now

The script for Deadly Scholars [aka #SquadGoals] was written by Caron Tschampion. This is the third script written by Caron Tschampion, who also worked as a writers’ assistant on 19 episodes of the brilliant Halt and Catch Fire. The story itself works pretty well for me, but the execution of the final reveal was just too… much!

Deadly Scholars was directed by Danny J. Boyle. Not to be confused with Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (no J middle name), who directed the brilliant zombie movie 28 Days Later and won his Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.

Danny J. Boyle has done quite a lot of thrillers in recent years. The titles alone reveal the genres: Cheerleader NightmareThe Stranger Inside, and Killer Assistant. Or actually, all those movies sound like horror movies.

But just like Deadly Scholars, they’re more drama thrillers. Which is fine as long as you know what to expect.

Deadly Scholars is out on Netflix in the US from February 15, 2019.

Additional Netflix regions: Deadly Scholars should also be on Netflix in Canada, Australia, The UK, and several other countries.


Director: Danny J. Boyle
Writer: Caron Tschampion
Stars: Sheryl Lee, Paris Berelc, Kennedy Lea Slocum


After a series of strange deaths, a high school reporter tries to pin down the killer who’s targeting students eligible for a prestigious scholarship.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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