boys in the trees

Boys In The Trees is a stylish, creepy tale. On Halloween 1997, two estranged teen skaters embark on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears.

Boys In The Trees is a good looking suspenseful thriller which pricks at your conscious, getting under your skin, and sending a shiver down your spine . The film centres around a group of teen boys out to cause havoc on Halloween in 1997. Jonah, the main character played by Toby Wallace, is channelling some serious Heath Ledger and I do believe we will see more of this young actor. Gulliver McGrath also does well with some tough dialogue as creepy Jonah. Whilst Justin Holborow as Jango is the good looking rebel that you love to hate. The rest of the gang are a perfect foil and of course there is a love interest in the mix; Romany (Mitzi Ruhlmann) to mess shit up for the boys.

I did struggle with a few things. Teenagers in Australian suburbia just don’t talk like they do in Boys In The Trees. The Director maybe went for a bit of a ‘Dawson’s Creek’ vibe with the script and it came off pretentious . Upper-middle class kids in Australian suburbia just don’t speak to each other in such poetic tones when they are out drinking goon in the park. I found it really distracting and annoying by the end of the movie.

There is a powerful scene where creepy ‘werewolves’ stalk the school boy changing rooms. This scene didn’t need the monologue spoken over it at all and took the edge off a pivotal moment in the movie. Not everything needs to be explained; a scene as powerful as that needed to be explored and absorbed by the viewer for themselves.

The movie also tapped into a lot of classic American horror tropes to reach wider global audience. I understand why, but in doing so the movie lost its ‘aussieness’.

This is a stylish movie though, with some real heart stopping moments. I jumped right out of my seat a couple of times! The drain tunnel scenes in the haunted forest had me too scared to look down, yet too gripped to look away. The stunning Day Of The Dead scene got in my head and the flashback scenes with young Corey and Jonah are moving.

I guess i’m just a bit too old and cynical to buy into Boys In The Trees fully. However, a younger audience will definitely enjoy it. I also applaud the writers and directors for creating a film about teenage boys. An often overlooked demographic in movies which dares to explore the effects of bullying, and the intense peer pressure we all endure throughout high school


In theatres October 20 – Get out for a Halloween flick!

Boys In The Trees Facebook

3 out of 5 from me.