Bully (2001)

Larry Clark directs Brad Renfro, Rachel Miner and Nick Stahl in this teen true crime story where a group of hapless Florida teens, some of whom barely know their target, conspire to kill the local bully.

If you can move past the sheer amount of just legal nudity that marinates a Larry Clark joint (and some people enjoy that blasé pornography of his movies) then this is a strong teen drama that is in good company with River’s Edge and Mean Creek. The acting is naturalistic and pretty brave, nobody courts our sympathy excessively, with Miner and a spaced out, unguarded Michael Pitt really impressing. And for a movie that is hardwired to visually exploit its young casts’ flesh and bodies, the murder itself and the aftermath is carried out with a chilling lack of sensationalism. Everyone involved whether giddily enthused or uncommitted to the violence during its lengthy and amateur planning is brought crashing into reality. What seemed as indifferent and wasteful a pastime as going to Pizza Hut, playing Mortal Kombat or driving around on acid becomes a shocking wake up call once the loss of life kicks in. Clark revels in an amoral world but he doesn’t deny these youths the chance to realise their callous, feckless lifestyles have equally over the top consequences.

6

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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