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ROLLERCOASTER (unrated)
Giraffe Films
Official Site
Director: Scott Smith
Producer: Scott Smith
Written by: Scott Smith
Cast: Brendan Fletcher, Kett Turton, Crystal Buble, Brent Glenen, Sean Amsing, David Lovgren

Rating: out of 5


ROLLERCOASTER is the tale of disaffected teens from a group home—a brother and sister, two brothers, and another guy—who get lickered up and go to an abandoned Vancouver amusement park to spend a day. Chloe (Buble) and Darrin (Turton) are pregnant, and have made a suicide pact; her brother, Stick (Fletcher), has machismo issues; Justin (Glenen) is Darrin’s sensitive younger brother; and Sanj (Amsing) is the other guy. Eventually, a security guard (Lovgren) show up, who knows why?

Someone, somewhere will find this meaningful, touching all the places of their adolescent pathologies. (To see this topic treated intelligently, see Kat Candler’s CICADAS.) But I gotta tell you, ROLLERCOASTER wasn’t even entertaining or suspenseful enough to keep my mind from wondering why much of the park apparently still had working water and electricity. I also have to add that I found it difficult to imagine allowing a minor child to act in such a film, which is largely about adolescent male rage (exactly what I think is one of the most destructive forces to civilized life).

The story is brutish without any real character growth. These characters don’t develop so much as just have more shit happen to them. We’re probably supposed to ride this emotional rollercoaster with them, but who can be bothered to care about an unintelligent sleeparound and the males in her life, all dreary, angry messes?

This is a real “film festival” film (best feature at SXSW 2000), but for the average entertainment-seeking viewer, the minutes will pass like days. At first I figured the hook was “will they or won’t they?” But as their day wore on, and the teens exhibited yet more outlandish and inexplicable behavior, I ceased to wonder why Chloe and Darrin wanted to kill themselves or even to care whether they would.

There are some lovely shots of lighted park rides at night, reflected in the pupils of these children’s eyes, and you can almost see the crispness of the Vancouver air, but a few good shots fail to save this movie.

—Roxanne Bogucka, an Action Girl!

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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