Dir: Nima Nourizadeh, 2012
In a last-chance effort to become popular, three teens throw a birthday house party which quickly intensifies beyond their imaginations.
Another example of how the mystery factor can only do so much for a film in the publicity phase, leaving build-up for a feature that can rarely improve upon expectations. For example, Project X’s comedy relies on shock factor – Mercedes in swimming pools, cock-punching dwarves and fire department helicopters – and yet, interestingly, all this and more is shown in the trailer.
Unsurprisingly, Project X employs the found-footage style of filmmaking (and I use the term “filmmaking” in the loosest form). Films of the same genre such as The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield are true to their limitations by opting for such a strict technique. There are moments not captured (because the camera isn’t on) and there is never a feel of pandering to the audience as much as acting oblivious to the truth of their isolation. On the other hand, the respective creators of Paranormal Activity, Chronicle and Project X are either unsure what type of film they wish to make or do not possess the talent to create something traditionally.
Even more, screenwriters Michael Bacall and Matt Drake promote the most dim-witted and ridiculous morals of any teenage comedy ever made. It’s almost as if they themselves bankrupted their own parents, blew their college fund and were convicted of criminal charges but counsel viewers “At least you’ll be popular for a few months”. With all this considered they can’t manage to write any original characters, the core three maintaining an inferior distinction with the Superbad trio (the lanky sensitive one, the uncouth best mate and the out-of-place friend who attempts to charm ladies through awkward sophistication).
A film that is both a structural and comedic mess, Project X hides behind beautiful females, popular music and obnoxious dialogue. If you’re tired of your own parties and feel they need more sexism, ignorance and extreme irresponsibility but lack the sense to act upon these desires, by all means, watch Project X. Actually, don’t.