What could possibly be about a movie with a title as strange as The Chumscrubber? The answer is simple: fucked up teens. That’s the tagline for this excellent flick that deals with the lives of middle-upper class citizens and theirs seemingly perfect lives (the only thing I worry about is me). However, after you say those words: fucked up teens, the next thing you have to say is: why are they fucked up. The Chumscrubber is searching for those answers, taking us directly into the fire. Of course, by fire I mean, that seeming perfect suburban paradise. I fucking hate those fake and gay white picket fences, fake smiles, and greetings.
Underneath all these things is the complete destruction of the individual and as a consequence of this act, the destruction of this small society is obligatory.Arie Posin, who wrote and directed this movie, has a unique knack for creating these uncomfortable and strange situations. Situations that lay bare the true nature of this falsity. As the movie progresses, you get kinda hooked on those crazy twists and wild situations, wanting to see more and more but before you know, the movie is over. Just think American Beauty with a strange vibe.
It’s not as jarring as Larry Clark coming-of-age shockers like Ken Park or Kids. And yet it deals with similar issues. We call them mental health issues but they are a symptom of a much larger issue. The destructive and horrifying system of values smothers young and old. It pushes them into these molds and trims the rest. And I should stop now before I get all excited and nasty.
Everything seems to be going pretty well in the small, suburban city of Hillside. However, that’s only happening on the outside. On the inside, there are so many strange and horrible things happening that it’s best to push them deep, deep down.
Those are the things you cannot run from and Troy Johnson, a high school student did something he shouldn’t have, he killed himself. This shocked the whole community because they didn’t think that such a thing is possible. How could a student just kill himself, that is simply unacceptable. And so is the fact that Troy was dealing drugs to his fellow students.
The young cast of this movie really rocked, with Jamie Bell and Camilla Belle leading the charge. William Fichtner, Close, and Fiennes, were, as veterans, watching closely. You would think that with themes like drugs, suicide, and crime, there wouldn’t be any room for humor, but you would be wrong. The Chumscrubber is a dark comedy with some scenes so funny that you simply cannot resist laughing out loud.
The pacing is also pretty good, what with the movie kicking off with suicide and continuing with a series of fucked up events that are simply pushing the story forward. If you’re looking for more movies with a similar vibe, I suggest you check out the tag Dysfunctional Family Movies. Also, I can’t help recommending Ben X, featuring a similar story but with more video game vibes.
Director: Arie Posin
Writers: Arie Posin, Zac Stanford
Cast: Jamie Bell, Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, Glenn Close
Fun Stuff: The kidnapped boy is playing on a Euphonium, not a Tuba.