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The Chumscrubber

Year: 2006
Director: Arie Posin
Cast: Jamie Bell, Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, Lou Taylor Pucci, Rory Culkin, Glenn Close, William Fitchner, Allison Janney, Ralph Fiennes, Rita Wilson , Carrie-Ann Moss
I've heard this film described as a wannabe Donnie Darko and that's about as close I can come to describing this mess for all the wrong reasons. Like Richard Kelly's 'groundbreaking' and 'visionary' effort, I didn't know what the bloody hell was going on or what it was trying to tell me.

Any themes it seemed to be following were undone by the next scene, not explained or explored enough to make sense or too obscure for me to get anything out of.

And it was all presided over by a bizarre headless video game character that appeared a few times and (or so it seemed) either knew the truth behind or controlled everything.

The theme that stood out the strongest was the age-old mantra of materialist parents keeping up appearances in their beautiful gated suburban community while the rot underneath sends them and their kids slowly insane.

Whether it's a maniacally friendly Glenn Close obsessively delivering food around the neighbourhood after her son's funeral, a wedding-obsessed Rita Wilson about to marry town mayor Ralph Fiennes and with no idea that some ethereal obsession with water has taken hold of him, or the wayward teenagers who kidnap a kid (albeit the wrong one) and nobody realises he's missing for several days, there's a comment around every corner, none of them very clear despite some inventive execution.

If you're a fan of David Lynch because you like films not to lay all their cards on the table (or be a confusing morass), you might like the indie cred and impressive cast. If you don't like to think the director's trying to tell you something but being too sly or clever about it (or you're just stupid), steer well clear.

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