Boys in the Trees is an Australian drama following two teens on the Halloween of 1997 as one guilt trips the other through their memories, dreams, nightmares and imaginations on their walk home.
This film markets itself as a horror and the concept sounds like it would excel in that genre but alas, the marketing hath been false…
Directly after watching Boys in the Trees, I felt cheated in a sense. I was led by the trailers, posters, etc to believe I was about to watch a horror film. But what I was in fact about to witness was a kind of original, cleverly written teen drama with horror elements casually thrown in at brief moments.
The reason I call the film “kind of original” is because it all seems heavily borrowed from other sources (the main inspiration I shall not disclose as it is a big fat spoiler) and for a lot of the first half, the film seems quite generic in the acting and dialogue.
However one thing I did find original was that this was from the perspective of someone in the bully group instead of someone against the bully group as most teen movies would have it.
The film does jump around quite a bit in terms of genre but after it all, you can just remember “it’s a drama about the imagination of children and how it never leaves” and then just like the dream theory, everything becomes justified (which I’m not a fan of).
Much like the genre focus, the acting jumps around a bit in quality. It starts off seeming quite amateur and then slowly becomes better as the film progresses, especially Toby Wallace (the protagonist) who brings a lot of personality to a difficult character to play realistically.
I may sound like I’m trashing this but please believe I think this film is good, it just has a fair share of issues as any film will. But despite that, Boys in the Trees has more good than bad.
The film feels refreshing even among many borrowed elements and the story was engaging for the better part.
The cinematography looked stunning, especially in the slow-motion scenes which were quite inspired.
Boys in the Trees has quite a bit to admire and gets better the more I think about it however my experience was soured by the fact that I was expecting a horror film.
If the concept interests you and you want to see it; expect a teen drama and you will love it. Do. Not. Expect. Scary.
What did you think of Boys in the Trees? Are you currently in a tree? Do you need help getting down?
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