Steve Moyle’s review published on Letterboxd:
The first film I saw from Harmony Korine was Spring Breakers and I absolutely loved it so instantly watched the Larry Clark Directed Kids which contained a masterful screenplay from Korine. So my next Korine film was Gummo and I saw it about 5 years ago and it was one of those films where I honestly didn't exactly know what I thought about it but it definitely wasn't one that I initially enjoyed but I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Kids on the other hand I instantly loved and related to quite a lot so I was always going to come back to Gummo it was just a matter of time. The imagery in the film is just shot beautifully, it's made to look like a documentary and is often grainy and ugly but with a fair amount of visually amazing imagery. The editing style and use of it's non-linear narrative feels completely unique as does it's narration and the soundtrack is masterful, ranging from Death Metal to Madonna and best of all a Roy Orbison drop which occurs in the most beautiful sequence in the entire film.
It's a hard film to describe, well for me anyway I went through several reviews which were able to put it into words beautifully but it really is a movie that stands on it's own so well that this is easily one of the harder reviews I've tried to write. Coming back to Gummo after being a little more familiar with Korine has made me appreciate it so much more then I originally did. Anyway it's set in Xenia, Ohio, it's been facing the aftermath of a damaging tornado that struck in the 70s and has never recovered. We are introduced to many different residents and are mainly following two teenage boys Sol (Jacob Reynolds) and Tummler (Nick Sutton) who kill a lot of cats in exchange for money. As the film begins we are introduced to a mysterious boy (Jacob Sewell) who skates around in bunny ears, we first see him on a bridge and he appears back in the film several times in sequences that are always interesting. The experience is an eye-opening but unsettling one that's authenticity can be most off-putting but it's seriously a great film. One that's dealing with themes of neglect, isolation, loss of innocence, drug and alcohol abuse, death but above all sheer ignorance. It's all there if you look hard enough and these themes are all explored in a powerful and cinematically masterful manner.