Growing up as a child of divorce is definitely tough. Now imagine, having a homophobic father while you’re trying to accept your own sexuality and you’ve got a recipe for one unstable teen. Meet Oscar.
After witnessing a brutal homophobic beating and the end of his parents marriage Oscar is left in a very unstable mental state. As a teen he is now struggling to express himself as he attempts to make a name of himself through special effects makeup.
Oscar (Connor Jessup) is a high school senior who aspires to escape his small Canadian town to become a special effects artist in New York. When new kid Wilder (Aliocha Schneider) asks to borrow Oscars work shirt his world suddenly shifts. He finds himself forced to suppress his sexual urges due to the haunting of a brutal homophobic beating.
This dark coming of age story is filled with unique story telling devices and director, Stephen Dunn forces you into the mind of a young teen. Be prepared to feel unsettled throughout the film as Oscar battles some major life moments. Dunn is definitely a talent to watch out for.
Unfortunately, there were points that could have hit harder. Oscar keeps saying how his father is an abusive alcoholic, but he comes off more as a single parent who’s trying to do his best, but keeps failing. We don’t truly see how broken their relationship is until it’s convenient for the plot. It felt at times too forced instead of slowly building up as the film progressed.
Then there’s the ending of the film that is up for interpretation…. maybe. There’s no real conclusion just a very odd joke to bring the film home in what one could only hope to be Dunn’s attempt at making the audience want more.
Overall Closet Monster is a fresh take on the coming of age drama. The subject matter and visuals are what makes this film truly shine but the rest feels kinda dull.