Title – The Dirties (2013)
Director – Matt Johnson (Operation Avalanche)
Cast – Matt Johnson, Owen Williams
Plot – Best friends and social outcasts Matt (Johnson) and Owen (Williams) decide to make a film about stopping the schools bullies but the line between reality and imagination starts to blur for Matt as he becomes increasingly tormented by the treatment he receives from the group known as The Dirties.
“You know, if people don’t get this, it’s gonna backfire so hard”
Review by Eddie on 2/06/2016
A great example of low budget indie filmmaking that succeeds without ever truly taking off, the Kevin Smith supported The Dirties is a sufficient comedy, a love letter to cinema’s influence and also a sometimes scarily accurate portrayal on alienation and bullying that can sometimes turn deadly.
Written and directed by Matt Johnson and starring Johnson and Owen Williams, The Dirties was clearly a labour of love for the two budding filmmakers and the rawness of their film that moonlights as a real documentary, does often make it feel legitimately like a true life doco even if there’s little reason for the cameras to be around at certain stages in the narrative.
Johnson and Williams share a great on screen chemistry together and it’s obvious their real life affiliation as friends has carried over to The Dirties and their love for film shines through in many of the films scenes. From classics through to modern contemporary pieces of entertainment spotting the many varied references that are spread throughout the film would be quite the job and it’s interesting to contemplate the influence films have on certain people in certain situations and Johnson’s character of Matt’s increasingly unstable mind is a product of not only films but years of torment at the hands of school yard bullies.
The dealings of The Dirties, with its titular group of nasties, is both its blessing and its curse. There’s an important message here of tolerance and acceptance but never once throughout this tale are you wondering where things are going to end up and for a film that has a particularly strong opening act the last stanza (and in particular last scene) of the film’s final half hour or so feels a tad underwhelming and certain scenarios feel harder to take such as the “cool” kids sudden acceptance of William’s awkward Owen or the fact no one cares to stop Matt from becoming increasingly unhinged.
The Dirties is a small film with a big message and while emotionally it doesn’t exactly hit a home run, the film turns a fairly generic plot line into something unique and wholly watchable and it will be a great joy as movie fans to see where Johnson and William’s next project might take them.
3 creepy cousins out of 5