April 18, 2019 Suicide Trip (Movie Review)
The turn of the millennium was a very interesting time in world. Chatrooms were still a viable form of communication for people on the internet, no one had their face glued to a smartphone just yet, but one thing did not change, the complexity of teenage life. It is a strange time, you are neither a kid nor really an adult, but your emotions are all over the place.
That in mind, around the year 2000, an aspiring filmmaker out of Virginia named James M. Hausler wrote a script that compounded the chaos of high school. Only 19 years old at the time, at 22 years of age, still pretty much a kid, he put the story into action; directing the feature film he would call Suicide Trip.
Completed in 2005, and hardly ever seeing the light of day, in 2019, the adult version of Hausler has decided to dust off the old film and finally give it proper release through Beat Pirate Films. Available now in 4K on various digital platforms including Google Play, Amazon, as well as iTunes, what exactly is this unknown indie film all about, and why is it worth giving a watch?
To be honest, the film is certainly the work of a new filmmaker learning their way; but that does not mean it is poorly done. In fact, considering it was written by Hausler while he was only 19, and filmed when he 22, it is pretty well done. Different and decently paced, the story is compelling enough to keep your interest for it’s 90 plus minute running time. This is complimented by some pretty decent acting, including the main cast; Haulser himself taking the role of Tommy, Michael Mandell as his elder brother Richard, and Christopher M. Clark as Richard’s bad attitude friend Colby.
Three very unlikely companions, we are led into a world where Tommy is a disgruntled outcast type kid, Richard is a preppy, polite type everyone likes, and Colby is a punk-ass wannabe who pretty much no one likes. Together, they are a motley match of personalities, but find themselves set to go to a party where an unknowing Tommy is about to be setup with a sleazy cheerleader named Sasha (Eco Lopez).
Seems like a normal teen comedy, right? Wrong, instead Suicide Trip takes a much dark approach to telling its story; showing high school kids partaking in illegal drug use, careless fornication, and showing even less regard for each other. Not as much a trip of debauchery as it may sound, the highlight of it all is that you get to see the wild adventure play out from the perspective of each the main characters. Non-linear, and perhaps a little difficult to follow at times, in the end, it all comes together… or does it? Well, that is really left up to the perspective of the viewer to decide.
To say the moral of the story is one thing or another, is really unfair, because there can be various interpretations. One can be it is not as deep as it looks, and is just meant to be a wild, crazy, fun movie. Another is Hausler intended to blur the lines between reality and fantasy, consider the heavy drug usage that takes place. Perhaps it is really somewhere in the middle of wild and crazy, but also conveying a message of how chaotic we all may have been in our youth, without the hindsight of regret.
Whatever it maybe, Suicide Trip is certainly a worthy indie flick to check out due in part to the unique storytelling style, decent camera work, and an eclectic soundtrack that helps set the mood. One part comedy, another horror, it is a movie that will have you tripping even when you are sober. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Suicide Trip 4 out of 5 stars.