Suburban angst and dysfunction are prime fodder for films and TV, whether it be housewives that seem desperate or disaffected teens too heavily medicated to even communicate with each other. The Chumscrubber falls into the latter category and presents a world all too familiar, while retaining its individuality in the genre.
The film follows Dean (Jamie Bell) as he copes with the suicide of his best friend, the major supplier of pharmaceuticals to the high-school community. Naturally, his parents are indifferent, and his fellow students just want their drugs again. The film has many diverging threads that all connect in the end, courtesy of a wonderful acting ensemble that’s too long to list.
The film itself looks fantastic, presented in glorious 2.40:1, anamorphically enhanced for your widescreen television. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track sounds good, even if it’s best used in a limited amount of sequences. The animated Chumscrubber bit within the film is a prime example of how far the film pushes the home theater experience. The movie looks better than most quirky films of this ilk, and it features James Horner’s best score in years.
The special features include a rather dry commentary from director Arie Posin and screenwriter Zac Stanford. There’s also the obligatory behind-the-scenes featurette, which is far more informative, if just a bit too brief. The Chumscrubber is a worthwhile film, comparable to Donnie Darko, without the sci-fi element. It’s a very good addition to the genre.