Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kids (1995)

Note: This review was originally posted on a message board forum. I am reposting it here for archival purposes. It has been backdated to the date of its original posting.

Having just watched Kids, I honestly can't decide if it's an exploitation film, or one of those cautionary tales they show you in Health class. Perhaps it's both. It's definitely an "AIDS scare" type of story, from the '90s. It's filmed in a rather voyeuristic fashion, following a day in the life of one particular teen, whose hobby just happens to be deflowering virgins, and he just happens to be HIV positive. Can't you just feel the drama unfolding, already? Kids depicts a rather depressing picture of urban youth, where the kids indulge in just about every sin your parents and teachers ever warned you about. But the most disturbing thing is, not the eight year olds smoking pot, the twelve year olds having sex, nor the fifteen year olds engaging in an E-influenced orgy, the teen gang beating an outsider to a bloody pulp, nor even the drunken rape, but the fact that, as sick as all of this is, it didn't feel to me so exaggerated that I didn't believe it could be real.

The characters are, with perhaps one or two exceptions, very unlikable (which I think is the point), and certainly not the kind of people I'd ever hang out with. However, I found the "fly on the wall" perspective and the "pseudo-documentary" style quite interesting, as I have some voyeuristic tendencies myself, but, while I found the film to be relatively enjoyable, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody else (particularly of more delicate sensibilities) were to consider it "trash". Because really, that's more or less the subject of the film.

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