Sunday, March 10, 2013

Diary of a Fangirl: River's Edge

Damn, this film was all kinds of messed up.

"River's Edge" is a film about a high school student by the name of John, who strangles his girlfriend Jamie to
death.  He disrobes her, (and maybe even more than that), and then proceeds to show off her lifeless body down by the river to his friends--maybe seven all together.  His two seemingly closest friends--Layne and Matt--have two opposing views.  Matt is visibly upset, whereas Layne goes on a rant about helping John stay low and get rid of the body.

I actually wasn't able to watch it all the way through--initially, it didn't grab my interest in the first forty minutes or so, and the repeat showing of the naked dead girl was both disturbing and off putting.

But what was most disturbing was the lack of call to action out of most of the characters.  But perhaps what was even more disturbing was the fact that the film, released in 1986, has stood the test of time, and can even be applicable to today's disaffected youth, and hell, disconnected adults.  John later that day shows his other friends--friends who are also friends with his murdered girlfriend Jamie--and not one of them (even Mike, who gets so freaked out that he runs away), do nothing.  Clarissa, who has a picture of her, another girl and Jamie on her nightstand, goes so far as to go to a payphone, while wondering if John would kill her next, and ultimately makes no call to the police.  Matt, though it takes him a few hours...does.

Another character later also has a call to action moment (figuratively, and not literally) in regards to dealing with John, who slowly becomes [even more] unhinged as the day wears on, and reveals himself to be a true sociopath.

"River's Edge" was dark and interesting, with some fine acting by Crispin Glover.  I could stand to watch it again if it were on, but I wouldn't seek it out.  A film of a similar note, but perhaps an inverse, now that I think of it, is "Bully," (2001) starring Brad Renfro, Nick Stahl and Bijou Phillips.


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