Ep. 96: Boys in the Trees

Skateboarding kids on Halloween, a very visual idea. That may be why they chose it as the theme of this film’s opening. You have a group of boys in costumes, getting ready in the early afternoon for what promises to be a night of treacherous fun.

Boys in the Trees (2016)
TV-MA | 1h 52min | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 20 October 2016 (Australia)

On Halloween 1997, two estranged teen skaters embark on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears.
Director: Nicholas Verso
Writers: Nicholas Verso, Nicholas Verso
Stars: Toby Wallace, Gulliver McGrath, Mitzi Ruhlmann

(My rough notes)

They are clearly bullies. The bully leader with his blond hair tell the boys where and when to go and they follow like army troops. If you’ve seen “Stand by Me” you kind of get the idea but these boys are much meaner like the vampires in “The Lost Boys.” As the crew is skating in the park, they run across the bullied kid who accidentally runs into the big bully. He’s of course mean to him and tells him roughly to stay away. They refer to him as “fag.” Something about young boys, they just have a mean streak sometimes.

The second in charge bully doesn’t seem to mind how mean he’s being but we’ll hear more about him later. We’re left wondering why they are being so mean to this boy. Bully’s really suck don’t they? As you’d imagine, there is much more to this story. This film is about regret and the passage of time into adulthood. WE can’t change our mistakes but we can change our outlook because of them. I give you my film summary and review in the rest of the podcast.

After this point, there may be plot spoilers.

Bully #2 bings the gang over to his father’s house. His dad is a Crispin Glover look-alike, typical older looking dad. He seems loving though, he tells his son about the college applications he put in his room. The boy is very rude to his poor dad. We never find out what the root of this is. Perhaps it’s just youthful angst.

They play a lot of metal tunes showing the kids wreaking havoc of all sorts. One thing they accent is bully#2 throwing a dead crow at the bullied kid’s window. It’s just awful how hard they are on this poor kid. I know kids can be bad but the stuff this ccrew does is just horrible. You wonder is the impending Halloween trick-or-treating holds a lesson for them. Also, you have to wonder what’s to become of this bullied kid.

We find the bullied kid has drowned. It’s a spiritual journey of sorts. We find out at some point in their childhood, the bully#2 and the bullied kid were good friends who’d walk home together and go into the pipe together. Once the bullied kid was attacked and sexually molested by some older boys in the tunnel and Bully#2 just ran away, leaving him there. This fills him with regret and guilt but the end of the film signals a change for the better in the bullies, too bad it took this boy’s death to learn the lesson. The film ends on a positive note and depsite the fact it ts really all over the place, it leaves you with hope.

Liked it? Take a second to support Damien Riley on Patreon!

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an old school blogger and I've been getting more into podcasting my movie reviews!

Leave a Reply