Forget the tricks, you’re in for a treat.
In the land Down Under, it’s not often that teenagers are given a film that truly understands them. And then out of the shadows comes Nicholas Verso’s feature debut, ready to rattle some bones.
Set in 1997, Corey (Toby Wallace) finds himself in a predicament at the completion of year 12 – does he stay in suburban Melbourne with his mates, or escape to New York to pursue his passion for photography?
On a dark Halloween-y night, Corey is stuck walking home with the eerie Jonah (Gulliver McGrath), a boy with whom he shares a mysterious history. Together they embark on a freaky childhood game that brings ominous tall tales to life and forces them both to confront what they dread most.
This insight into the mind of a teenage guy is a wild concoction of ingredients – the magic of Bridge to Terabithia, the thrills of The Lost Boys, and the beguiling mystery of Donnie Darko. Blended together, they contribute something fresh and enchanting to the supernatural genre, and the special effects are beautifully realised.
Some quintessentially Australian humour should hit the mark with both local and international audiences, and the soundtrack is truly one for the ages, including some killer ’90s songs from Spiderbait, Marliyn Manson, Garbage and Yoko Ono.
The mystery element of Boys in the Trees is seemingly revealed throughout the film, however in true Donnie Darko fashion, the conclusion will leave you pondering what actually happened.
As much as Stranger Things is an homage to the ’80s, Boys in the Trees is a celebration of ’90s suburban Australia and is definitely worth checking out.
In cinemas: October 20, 2016
Starring: Toby Wallace, Mitzi Ruhlmann, Gulliver McGrath
Directed by: Nicholas Verso