Project X Review
March 11, 2012
Move over Jack and Jill; we have a new contender for worst film of 2012 in Project X. It may even deserve the title of worst film ever
Ordinarily, I love found footage films: last year’s Norwegian Troll Hunter was wonderful; I even enjoy mockumentary horrors like Paranormal Activity and REC despite being a massive wuss. We’ve already seen Chronicle this year (I loved it) which contributed to the genre, even if it was a little contrived. Sadly, the genre is getting old and really needs a fresh idea to invigorate the concept. When I saw the trailer for Project X I thought it would be an interesting take on found footage films; I can’t recall a mockumentary that revolves around the planning and execution of a birthday party. I should have taken the hint when, after just one week, showings dropped to one a day screened at 9.25, that it would appeal to a select audience rather than everyone.
Project X stars an assortment of unknown actors as a group of friends celebrate Thomas (Thomas Mann)’s seventeenth birthday by throwing a house party with a difference. Costa (Oliver Cooper) invites pretty much everyone he’s at school with, encouraging Thomas and JB (Jonathan Brown) to do the same as this is their chance to get together with some girls. The party soon spirals out of control whilst Dax (Dax Flame) captures everything on his expensive video camera.
It was incredibly difficult to write that synopsis without expressing my pure hatred for Project X. Featuring everything that anyone could possibly find offensive (nudity, violence, drug misuse, alcohol misuse, putting a dwarf in an oven – yes, really) this film takes torture porn to a whole new level. It’s also the most chauvinistic piece of cinema I have seen in a long time, blowing even The Hangover (coincidentally, Project X is produced by the wolfpack’s director Todd Phillips) out of the water. There were times when I, without realising it, audibly showed my disgust: a female partygoer urinates on the floor; revellers tie helium balloons to a dog sending him off into the sky; and endless amounts of vomit. My sounds of disgust were lost amongst laughter from people who didn’t look old enough to see this 18 certificate movie; it’s worrying that some of the audience found this film entertaining. Someone even commented, on leaving the showing, that he wished he could attend a similar party.
Project X is like Skins, but perhaps one hundred times worse: more offensive, more shocking, and even more terrible. I didn’t care about any of the characters; there wasn’t a single likeable person in the entire movie. Even Thomas’ father, I’m sorry if this is a spoiler, presents as weirdly proud of his son’s destruction. Even though there is a cute dog in this film, it didn’t make Project X any more tolerable. I didn’t smile once, never mind laugh or snigger; not even a Yorkshire Terrier on a bouncy castle can save this film.
The best Project X can do is serve as a cautionary tale: hopefully it will show teenagers how not to be a complete dick. Fingers crossed it will also advise future directors and writers how not to make a film. Horrifyingly, a sequel has already been announced. It’s too late for this franchise; the best we can hope for is for this not to spawn a cluster of copy cat films.