Slamdance Film Festival
Constantly being bullied by a group of kids—known as "The Dirties" because it's the name of the bullies' band—at their high school, Matt (Matt Johnson) and Owen (Owen Williams) decide to film a movie about getting revenge. But as Matt gets more and more serious about the idea, Owen begins to worry his friend might take things too far. In his directorial debut, Johnson may have done just that. While the comedy from the characters of Matt and Owen is enjoyable through the beginning and middle of the film, and the shoutouts to Bindlestiffs—last years winner of the Slamdance Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature—are hilarious, it soon becomes clear where The Dirties is going. While the emotional reactions to bullying are very well portrayed by Johnson and Williams, it is difficult—to say the least—to connect with a character who wants to take the lives of his classmates. With the massive number of deaths from school shootings within the last decade, and at least two school shootings just in the past week, Johnson chose a bad topic to make a joke about.