Shadows

Shadows (2022)

At the beginning of Shadows, 18-year-old Cody (Rahart Adams) is breaking bad. For he is starting to hang around young prostitutes in a peculiar bid to get closer to his tough-as-nails sex-working mother Jewel (Krista Allen) – who abandoned him as a baby, and has only recently reentered his life. He is also ‘upgrading’ from…

Exposure

Love Exposure (Ai No Mukidashi) (2009)

Love Exposure (Ai No Mukidashi) first published by Film4 Summary: Sion Sono’s Berlinale-winner is a Bible-length blend of the pious and the perverse that puts the rites back into teen rites of passage.  Review: “Even a pervert has a life history,” declares epicene 17-year-old Yu Honda (Takahiro Nishijima) to fellow pupil – and girl of his dreams…

Julie

Let’s Scare Julie (2020)

To the accompaniment of fey flutework from composer Katisse Buckingham, the opening credits of writer/director Jud Cremata’s feature debut Let’s Scare Julie offer elegant animated design in the style of Saul Bass. Here the name of each cast member appears, only to be erased by a red bar, until it becomes clear that these bars…

Adventureland

Adventureland (2009)

Adventureland first published by EyeforFilm Adventureland begins at a transitional point in its protagonist’s life. At a student party in 1987, 22-year-old James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) is celebrating his graduation, and is in the process of being dumped by his girlfriend – but at the same time he is looking forward to a ‘transformative’ summer…

Young Adult

Young Adult (2011)

Young Adult first published by movieScope In 2007, young director Jason Reitman and first-time screenwriter Diablo Cody teamed up to create whipsmart teen pregnancy comedy Juno. Now their latest collaboration, Young Adult, represents a reunion in more ways than one, as they revisit previous preoccupations (adolescence and parenthood) from the perspective of arrested grown-ups rather…

Adoration

Adoration (2019)

Following Calvaire (2004) and Alléluia (2014), Adoration is the third and final film in Fabrice du Welz‘s so-called Ardennes Trilogy, loosely unified by their Belgian backwoods setting, the religious associations of their titles, the presence of actor Laurent Lucas, and a shared theme of amour fou, Here the infatuated party is 12-year-old Paul (Thomas Gioria),…

Cheerleaders

All Cheerleaders Die (2013)

All Cheerleaders Die first published by Grolsch FilmWorks Before Chris Sivertson and Lucky McKee became, separately, the best big-screen adaptors of Jack Ketchum’s writings – the former with The Lost (2006), the latter with Red (2008) and The Woman (2011) – the two writer/directors debuted together with a little-seen, shot-on-video feature All Cheerleaders Die (2001),…

Verónica

Verónica (2017)

Verónica first published by SciFiNow Not to be confused with Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran’s Mexican film of the same name, Verónica is, like its director Paco Plaza’s previous [REC] and [REC] 2, set mostly in a Spanish metropolitan apartment building where something diabolical finds a way in. There, 15-year-old Verónica (Sandra Escacena, in an impressive…

Better

Better Watch Out (2017)

Better Watch Out first published by SciFiNow Better Watch Out (aka Safe Neighborhood) opens with a medium close-up of a grinning snowman. The scene is typical American Christmas-time suburbia: families out in the cold, kids making snow angels and playing with sleds. Yet as Joy to the World plays on the soundtrack, there is also cruelty:…

Shack

Dead Shack (2017)

Dead Shack first published by SciFiNow “Adorable’s good, right?” So asks timid, tight-arsed 14-year-old Jason (Matthew Nelson-Mahood), desperate to find a positive after Summer (Lizzie Boys) – the older sister of his motormouth best friend Colin (Gabriel LaBelle) and the object of his own affections – has just called him “adorable but weird”. The three have…