Starring: Jamie Blackley, Sean Teale, Mike Bailey, Michael Smiley, Amber Anderson, Adam Gillen
Running Time: 74 Minutes
WE ARE THE FREAKS is desperate. It is desperate to be loved, it is desperate to be unique, it is desperate to be postmodern and it is desperate to be quirky. Funnily enough, those are also all the things that the protagonists want to be as well, but desperation is far from an admirable trait, especially when there is no journey or progression. The film begins with a Jack (Blackley) telling us “This isn’t your average teen film,” or something to that effect. Any film that needs to claim it “isn’t your average…” whatever, needs to take a long hard look at itself and ask how it could have shown us instead of having to tell us. It certainly isn’t your average teen film though, as this is definitely below average in terms of quality and content.
Jack’s opening fourth-wall breaking also has the main character claim he hates movies where the characters talk to the camera, which of course he says straight to the camera because being meta is just so intelligent and witty. Fans of Skins may very well be lured into this film with two cast members having frequented the show and the rest of the cast picked from the Channel 4 tree of talent. Seriously, it seems as though every actor has appeared in one of Channel 4’s flagship shows whether it be Skins, Misfits, Shameless, and so forth. This restricted gene pool means that we’re stuck with the same style of acting where odd trumps conviction. I guess not everyone could be cast in Game Of Thrones.
The lack of plot is taken directly from SUPERBAD, as three friends go out to a party and get split up for a series of different adventures. Some segments even seem to have just been altered very slightly from SUPERBAD’s DNA, with the infamous menstrual blood scene replaced with a torn penis. None of these events are of any consequence at all. These non-characters are simply described to us and the ending (not spoiling anything here) actually has Jack question whether he or any of the characters have learned anything like in your typical teen movie. The answer is “No!” making the entire film a pointless journey into nothingness. There are even glaring moments of poor film making such as a cutaway taken from a later scene with no attempt to disguise the difference in daylight, and a fight using a single tracking shot where the actors have to get up and position themselves in front of their attacker.
Set in the early 1990s, the film doesn’t even work as a nostalgic period piece, as the only way we know it is the 90s is because of references to Margaret Thatcher quitting and a few band names thrown around. With no likable characters, a simple episodic plot, obvious and unfunny humour, and a running time that doesn’t allow for development, but is mercifully short, WE ARE THE FREAKS is very mundane and not worth the time. It does look nice at times though.
[usr=1]WE ARE THE FREAKS is released on DVD 5th May.