The film is based on a stage play that was first produced in 1985. The change of mediums still brings out what makes the story work that it is essentially a four-person ensemble. The four cast members are astonishingly good. Renee Humphreys disaffected cynicism, which contains an innocence and desire to trust not far beneath, is particularly well achieved. Alicia Witt who played the role of Alia in Dune (1984) at the age of eight and subsequently went onto the tv sitcom Cybill (1995-8) and Urban Legend (1998) gives an amazingly hyperkinetic performance she never stops gyrating, leaping about or babbling a stream of inane chatter, something that initially becomes extremely irritating until the film also pulls back and shows the range of emotions inside her. Both Leslie Hope and William R. Moses give equally good support. Hopes cynical weariness is particularly convincing. Mosess cynical savvy but in the end his willingness to give the girls more than Leslie Hope will, is well brought out too.
The effectiveness of the acting would be nothing without the enormously good script. The films glimpse inside the mind of disaffected youth is chilling it seeing that youth has become so morally devalued and aimless that its only joys come in the mindless pursuit of the titular fun, a state that encompasses anything from GunsnRoses to videogames to door-to-door insults to finally murder. Its characterisation and the hand of surprises it deals the revelation of Alicia Witts lies, the delicate question of whether the girls relationship is lesbian are very well done.
The only part in the film that does not work convincingly is the murder, which looks more like a dance than a stabbing. When the stabbing does occur, the knife hardly ever appears to touch the body. The film takes the unusual step of filming the prison scenes in grainy black-and-white blow-up using jerky handheld camerawork while the flashback scenes are in colour on clear frame stock and classically composed, a complete reversal of the way the two are usually used.
Canadian director Rafal (sometimes Rafael) Zielinski had previously directed several B-budget summer camp teen makeout comedies. Subsequently, Zielinski made a number of other films about youths on the margins of society with the likes of Jailbait (1994), Downtown: A Street Tale (2004) and Age of Kali (2006). Zielinski has made two other horror films with the reality tv horror Reality Check (2002) and the ghost story Hangmans Curse (2003).
(Nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Alicia Witt) at this sites Best of 1994 Awards).
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