[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
The most controversial film you will see this year.
A group of high school friends discover that they are in the presence of a killer. One of them, Samson, has murdered his girlfriend Jamie. He brags to his friends about killing her, and when they discover he is telling the truth, their reactions vary.
A barebones drama, directed by Tim Hunter, is centered around a group of mostly burnout friends in rural Oregon who come to find that one of them(Daniel Roebuck) has killed another of their group. The knowledge of the crime has a different effect on everyone as they keep the information to themselves. When one of them finally tells the cops, it pushes things even further towards the edge.
Well shot and quite beautiful, it is highlighted with strong performances by Keanu Reeves(I really said that), Dennis Hopper(as an on-the-lam fella who killed his girl), Roebuck and Ione Skye. The score is quite dodgy at times and ultimately your enjoyment of the film will hinge on how you accept Crispin Glover's…
"You didn't have to call me a stupid bitch."
"You were driving right past us, we had to yell something."
"I got a name you know. You're lucky I didn't just drive right home."
"Okay, okay, okay. I'm sorry, Clarissa, but you've got to understand that in a time like this where every fucking second counts, a man can't waste his time choosing words."
Crispin Glover in this film is pretty much a drinking game waiting to happen. I want his "gahddaaahmnaaht" as a ringtone, I broke into giggles several times during the film. Luckily, I read this excellent article on the California Shift in American pop punk recently, and I don't know if that's what's happening in Glover's accent,…
Another film, like my review of A.I., where I feel that the rating does not capture how enthusiastically I would recommend this. The lows are so low (the awful score, Crispin Glover's acting) that I can't rate it higher, but it ranks up there with Clueless as one of my favorite depictions of teenagers that I've ever seen.
And while Clueless represents the light side of teenagers, their goofiness, their romantic notions, their optimism, River's Edge perfectly captures their dark and dirty side. How someone might not know how to react to a murder, even a person they knew. How someone might turn that situation into sex and sort of move on from the dead body that they saw just…
An '80s antecedent to wasted-youth films like Larry Clark's KIDS and BULLY, RIVER'S EDGE is based on a true story about a group of metalhead teen "burnouts" who attempt to cover it up when one of their own strangles his girlfriend and leaves her body to rot on a riverbank. It's not perfect (largely thanks to the score, which too often sounds like a horror film instead of the drama that it is), but it's powerful and well-acted, despite moments of corniness.
It's also got lots of cult appeal, thanks to Dennis Hopper's supporting role as a melancholy, spaced-out drug dealer with a disturbing attachment to a blow-up doll, and to one of the most gloriously strange performances that Crispin…
If I had to compare River's Edge to any two movies, they would probably be My Own Private Idaho (1991) and Stand by Me (1986). The comparison with the latter is obvious; a group of young people and a dead body, only in River's Edge we actually see the body, and so do the characters. The comparison with My Own Private Idaho is a little harder to pin down; it's not because of Keanu Reeves' presence in the film -- although his performance here anticipates his much stronger work in Private Idaho -- but because of the film's focus on aimless, dispassionate youths.
The narrative of River's Edge, inspired by an actual event, is simple enough. A high school student…
The strongest feature of this is its ability to match tone, lighting, and character. The cold mixture of malaise, disconnection, and, for lack of a better term, psychopathy is matched by the pale cold riverside setting and its attendant chilled lighting in a way that somehow makes the characters' various muted reactions to the corpse of their friend seem fitting. As their humanity reasserts slowly but surely, the film's cold tone adds to the deepening discomfort of their situation, shifting from defining to contrasting, Deepening the discomfort after practically starting with a linger shot of a naked, choked corpse is no mean feat.
That shot is possibly a bit too long, a bit too sexualized, and there's an theme lurking…
Crispin Glover = the world's greatest actor.
The high school teacher in this is such a fucking hypocrite.
My biggest problem was accepting the premise that the group of kids we follow have little or no reaction to their friend being murdered by another friend. They even see the body and react less. Then at the end of the movie, the story arc ends with them learning that murder is bad. Dennis Hooper's character was a nice wrinkle in the story though. I also couldn't stand Crispin Glover's character.
YES TO EVERYTHING. Best casting EVER.
- "Sometimes I think it's better to be dead.."
- "Bullshit, you can't get stoned when you're dead."
Theres something mystical watching young Keanu.
A fascinating look at teen culture that was very relatable to me in high school, but after a compelling start the story just meanders into nothing, and the actors are not the strongest. Keanu Reeves was a terrible actor back then, but as long as he's not given too much dialogue he pulls off portraying a disaffected teen. Crispin Glover, on the other hand, is pretty awful. He can't get beyond his quirky mannerisms. It's a grim movie but seems to say everything it needs in the first half hour.
In what is surely one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated American movies of the 80s, a psychopathic teen murders his girlfriend and casually tells all his friends about it causing the group to slowly splinter and self-destruct. River's Edge begins minutes after the murder has occurred as Samson (Daniel Roebuck) sits on a river bank next to his girlfriend's naked, lifeless corpse and screams victoriously into the morning air. It's an image straight out a dream and an immediately arresting one. For a film filled with a cast and imagery from 80s teen movies you have to ask yourself "where is this going?" Talk about unfamiliar territory.
River's Edge is kind of like Stand by Me for not-pussys. That's…
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…