Movie Review-Rites of Passage

Plot-Nathan goes to the local university to study anthropology. This college where students are either dating their professor, streaming porn videos, drinking and driving or partying every second they can. Well, Nathan invites some of his classmates and the professor to this family’s house which is on sacred Chumash burial ground. The goal is to recreate an ancient ceremony. We also learn that Nathan has a brother Benny that is living his life in illusions that are conjured by a powerful hallucinogen from the root of gypsum. When under the influence Benny sees and does things he cannot remember. Then add to the mix one of Benny’s friends Delgado also starts using this hallucinogen as well. So while these two are in drug filled hazes, here comes Nathan and his university friends and professor.

Review-When I saw the box art and the names Stephen Dorff, Christian Slater and Wes Bentley I was a little worried, but once this movie started to get going it was really an odd ride but fun one. This film could almost be as good as any anti-drug campaign out there, and while we are at it, you may as well throw in drinking and driving as well. In this film every character is more damaged then the last, and every situation and scene is more odd then the last. When we see Nathan on these drugs, the illusions he gets just get more and more odd, from the Chumash Indian bride that every woman resembles on these drugs to him, to almost some kind of demonic views of himself and all else around him. He kidnaps a girl early in the film and in his drug induced state thinks she wants to marry him. The film gets more interesting, when Benny spikes the university’s drinks with the drug and now others are hallucinating as well.

The film starts off in its best Donnie Darko oddness, but as the film starts to end it falls into the usual kill them all sort of film. Some of these characters like Benny or a female named Dani are damaged beyond belief. Dani is a young girl who made a mistake, she was drinking and driving and went into the wrong lane and kept on driving. This is a mistake that killed some people, but one that haunts her throughout this film, and leads to a scene that involves her and a gun that will really hit home for people who have done that one thing they regretted and wish they could take back. As a whole, this film is really a good time, but I just hated that they took this concept and ideas, and could not keep it going throughout. The last twenty minutes of this film was such a letdown, as opposed to how the first hour and 20 were going. All that aside, I really liked this film and would watch it again and recommend to all of you, that on Tuesday you should seek it out. If you like a weird film that felt like Shrooms meets Donnie Darko, you may get into this film a lot.

8 out of 10