Thursday, May 29, 2008

Teeth (2007)

Dad; There’s dinner – if you want a bite.
Dawn: I ate.

Bizarre horror film manages to combine a straight-up teen coming of age story with an outrageious, gore-filled concept, and its heart is always in the right place (although its teeth definitely are not).

Dawn (Jess Weixler) is a teenage girl who makes rousing speeches for The Ring, a group dedicated to getting teens to abstain from pre-marital sex. Straight-laced and angelic, she is the opposite of her heavy-metal, tatooed step-brother Brad (John Hensley).  Despite her burgeoning relationship with Tobey (Hale Appleman) she refuses to give in to sexual fantasy – let alone sex. When she does – unwillingly – the result is…painful for her, but so much more so for him. Strange film feels almost like a standard teen angst story, interepersed with occasional moments of pure blood-spurting (and sometimes hilarious) gore; most scenes have the added backdrop of twin nuclear smokestacks. It’s what every girl needs – the ultimate defense mechanism. Rating: 3 of 4

"Star Jess Weixler, exerting the command and persona of a young Meryl Streep, grants enough earnest innocence that instead of fearing Dawn, you fear for her."
- Phil Villarreal  (Arizona Daily Star)

"Extremely funny, very clever and still packs some cover-your-face bloody thrills that top any Saw or Hostel movie."
- Peter Hartlaub (San Francisco Chronicle)

"B+ A smart and convincing film with a lot to say about the power of female sexuality and the cultural forces that try to stifle it."
- Shawn Levy (Oregonian)

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