The Dirties a Budget Movie within a Movie
The Dirties is about filmmaker Matt Johnson (played by the movie’s co-writer and directed), who is making a revenge-fantasy movie about high school bullies who plague Matt in real life. He gives them their just punishment but only in the movie he is making with his best friend Owen (Owen Williams).
The movie and the bullies are known as The Dirties. A cameraman captures Matt and Owen’s experiences as if they are part of a reality TV show. The two are making a movie that is about making a movie that will be the final movie.
The Dirties show that a creative social outcast can also be a psychopathic narcissist at the same time. Matt tries to channel his negative emotions into a movie. He becomes too wrapped up in the making of flick that stopping it is no longer an option.
At the first half of The Dirties, Matt is charismatic and entertaining enough. He is aware that he is a teenage outcast and viewers empathize with his awkwardness. He is enthusiastic about his movie but as the movie progress, viewers grow wary of his visions of how things should be. Even his best friend Owen shares this view.
One weekend, Matt goes on a trip to his cousin’s place to shoot guns. He has joked earlier about ending his movie with an actual shooting of school bullies and they don’t seem to be funny at this point of the movie.
The Dirties is effective and deceptive as it builds to its dramatic climax. Much of the movie is amusing in its own way but not the laugh-out-loud type. The depiction of high school bullying is too realistic. The harassment he and Owen receives show an emotionally oppressive environment.
The Dirties won the Grand Jury Prize in the Slamdance Film Festival. It is a timely movie about the brutal act of bullying. It is funny and at the same time thought-provoking.