Good evening fellow fiends of fright! Tonight we will discuss something a little different, so let’s begin! As a fan of Halloween I am always interested in checking out films based on Halloween night. BOYS IN THE TREES, written and directed by Nicholas Verso, has a similar premise which made me excited to watch the film.
The plot of the film is based on Halloween in 1997. I felt that was very original especially since no one really embraces the incredibly goofy and strange era that is the nineties surrounding Halloween. The primary focus is essentially two teenage boys that were friends when they were younger that grew to become enemies who unintentionally reconnect and reminisce through memories. The film trudged along rather slowly but held my interest through and through even though coming-of-age films are typically not my bag of tea.
One thing I particularly loved was the attention to detail throughout the film to help clearly indicate that the movie was in fact based in 1997. From the OG computers with slow loading internet to the absolutely fucking awesome and loaded soundtrack and goofy-ass nineties garb. There’s even a brief scene of mischief where you see someone spray painting “Y2K is coming!” on a garage door. Although this doesn’t really play a large role int he film, I felt it was an honorable mention.
In regards to the Halloween masks and costumes, they were great! Maybe not as similar to things from nineties as I would have liked but they were awesome regardless. Those in charge of the costume/clothing design totally hit the nineties nail on head as everything looked and felt so natural. The cinematography was absolutely flawless and you can really tell that the budget played a big role in the filming of this flick. Everything was crisp and clean and it flowed together perfectly. There’s some fun and interesting effects and scene transitions that I felt really captured the mischievous aspects of the film.
Although I was not familiar with the actors in this film, due to the fact that it’s an Australian film with an Australian cast, I was actually very impressed with the acting. The two primary characters, Corey (Toby Wallace) and Jonah (Gulliver McGrath) seemed to feed off each other’s energy. The interactions during their stroll through memory lane were almost enchanting as you watched the storyline unfold. The main antagonist, Jango (Justin Holborow) played the type of bully you really want to see catch “five across the eyes” due to his sheer arrogance and his high level of flexing dominance. Corey’s sort of love interest, Romany (Mitzi Ruhlmann) sheds a bit of knowledge to Corey as she informs him that he’s better than the company he keeps. She sees him as more than just the shitheads he pairs himself with and appreciates his photography, as he aspires to pursue a career as a photographer.
There’s a sense of creepiness that hangs over the film, especially within the shared stories between Jonah and Corey. I didn’t necessarily find this scary, but it held my attention and kept me almost on the edge of my seat. There’s shadows cast upon the walls as the stories, or memories, unfold and I feel that there were some effects I found comparable to movies such as THE GRUDGE or even THE BABADOOK. I did find the area of effects fell a bit short, but this was particularly because it wasn’t much of the films primary focus. The audiences is supposed to be focused on the reconnecting of Corey and Jonah as they discuss their childhood fallout, which as I viewer, I was.
Wrapping up, I would highly suggest giving this movie a watch. BOYS IN THE TREES is a film about separation and growth which makes it an easy, yet slightly emotional watch. Basically, it gives you the feels. It has a bit of something for everyone so I can see why Rotten Tomatoes gave it such a decent percentage rating.