- James Mottram
- 1 March 2012
Major league mayhem with a dark, twisted edge
Animal House meets The Blair Witch Project, only this time the horror is very real in a movie that will undoubtedly give all parents nightmares. No, this is not a film about paranormal activity, but a high school party that gets dangerously out of control. Recalling those real life bashes, where a quiet suburban house gets trashed after word spreads on social networking sites, Project X delivers its comedy with menacing undertones. Styled like a ‘found footage’ documentary, it’s a rough’n’ready slice of adolescent carnage that will surely delight teenage viewers with its irresponsible irreverence.
The story is set on the 17th birthday of Thomas (Thomas Mann), which happens to conveniently coincide with his parents’ anniversary. So while they’re off for the weekend to celebrate, he plans a party with his friends, the pudgy, mildly nerdy JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), and the Stifler-like Costa (Oliver Cooper). In the film’s major contrivance, it’s all being filmed, hand-held, by their weird Goth friend Dax (Dax Flame), who keeps silent for much of the film, allowing him to sneak around and catch intimate one-on-one moments with characters.
With even Thomas’ father believing his son is a ‘loser’, in the nicest possible way, the pressure is on to mount a cool party – but what follows exceeds their wildest dreams. There isn’t much more to Project X than major league mayhem but the script by Michael Bacall and Matt Drake raises a few smiles – the best bits involving a Taser, a garden gnome, a midget in an oven and a flamethrower (although not all at the same time). It’s not American Pie cute, or Superbad naïve, rather because of the documentary feel that director Nima Nourizadeh conjures, Project X has a dark, twisted edge to it. Just don’t try this at home, kids.
General release from 2 Mar.