I had the opportunity to screen Lars the Emo Kid (2015) and based on the title, I wasn't sure what I was getting into. I guess I was hung up on the Emo part, thinking I was going to be watching some depressing tale of a kid who could find any happiness in life and that most of the dialogue was going to be filled with doom and gloom. Well, most of that is true, it is about a kid struggling with life and yeah it was a bit depressing sometimes, but it turned out to be a surprisingly good movie with just as many up moments as there were down. Come to find out, Lars the Emo Kid was inspired by the script and short film, with the same name, and was written by Paxton Gilmore.
Lars the Emo Kid takes you on a ninety-nine-minute journey through the eyes of Lars, a teenage high school student. Because of family issues, being bullied at school and the loss of his best friend Lars falls deeper and deeper into depression. Lars is ready to give up, but then he runs into a group of kids that seem to understand what he's going through. Through that new friendship, Lars is able to find his way through the pain and find some happiness in life again.
I was really impressed with the story that Paxton Gilmore came up with. Yeah, the opening is depressing, but Gilmore does a great job at slowly transitioning the story from rain to shine by the time movie is over. It's a story told from the view of a kid going through hard times and I thought Gilmore did a really good job at showing both the real moments in a situation and the over blown ones that we see ourselves in at the time. Keep in mind, this is a teen coming of age kind of movie, so it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. However, we've all gone through at least one of the topics this movie covers (feeling alone, bullying, suicide, family issues) at one point or another and can kind of relate. In the end, Gilmore's story is a positive journey through a dark time in a teen's life. It's a great reminder that everyone is going through something in their life, even if we don't show it and sometimes a friend can make all the difference.
As far as the playthrough went, I was very doubtful at first. The opening was kind of slow and the first twenty-minutes had me wondering if this was what the rest of the movie was going to be like, but due to Gilmore's ability to mix bits of comedy into the story, it turned out to be really entertaining.
Some of the faces you'll see in the movie are Paxton Gilmore as Lars Hyde, Nicole Elliot as Rosemary, Tyler Tackett as Leonard, Jacob Byrd as Jason, David Simpson as Donnie, Eric Schneider as Blake, Sara Gaston as Cindy Hyde and Mark Roberts as Randall Hyde. I thought the whole cast did a great job, but both Paxton Gilmore and Tyler Tackett really stood out with their performances. Gilmore carries the most weight as the star of the movie and he does it with no issue. Tackett's timing and delivery were what made his character my favorite.
I wasn't expecting it, but there are some special effects in the movie and they looked pretty good.
Overall, it's has a slow pace, but the story makes it worth the watch.