Film Review: ‘Teen Lust’

Teen Lust Toronto Film Festival

Even Cary Elwes' scenery-chewing can't do much to help this minor mix of teen-sex comedy and horror-thriller.

A conspicuously uninspired mix of teen-sex comedy and horror-thriller tropes, “Teen Lust” may amuse Cary Elwes fans who yearn to see the cult-fave “Princess Bride” star give a performance that could be labeled Swift’s Premium and sold by the pound. Nothing else suggests a future for this Canadian-produced trifle beyond niche festivals and home-screen platforms.

The strained silliness revolves around Neil (Jesse Carere), a hormonally inflamed but hopelessly virginal high schooler whose innocence is highly regarded, and closely monitored, by his straight-laced parents (Emmanuelle Vaugier, Jon Dore). And with good reason: Mom and Dad are devout Satanists who have promised the leader (Elwes) of their cult that Neil can be offered as an undefiled human sacrifice — for the greater good of the Prince of Darkness — on the clueless youth’s 18th birthday.

Naturally, Neil rebels once he gets wind of what’s in store for him. And, just as naturally, he quickly figures that the best way to avoid being a virgin sacrifice is to, well, you know, not be a virgin. Aided and accompanied by Matt (Daryl Sabara), his less uptight but equally virginal buddy, Neil sets out on a long night’s journey toward deflowering, with stops along the way at a raucous party and a seedy whorehouse, while frantic Satanists follow in hot pursuit. After what seems like a very long time, he winds up recast as a sacrificial lamb, hoping against hope that Denise (Annie Clark), his heretofore platonic best friend, will save the day by, ahem, riding to his rescue.

Even among a throng of fellow players who have dialed it up to 11, Elwes manages to be a standout by sheer dint of his nonstop eye rolling, face pulling and scenery chewing. It’s difficult to imagine there was a day on the set when director and co-scripter Blaine Thurier had to say, “Cary, do you think you could be a little livelier?” Unfortunately, Elwes’ spirited overplaying does precious little to elevate the overall laugh quotient. Tech values are unremarkable.

Film Review: 'Teen Lust'

Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 12, 2014. Running time: 80 MIN.

Production

(Canada) An Entertainment One release of an Independent Edge Films production in association with Farpoint Films. (International sales: Arclight Films, Los Angeles; TAJJ Media, Toronto.) Produced by Kyle Mann. Executive producers, Kyle Bornais, Jeff Sackman, David Reckziegel, Anne-Claire Villeneuve, Scott Leary.

Crew

Directed by Blaine Thurier. Screenplay, Thurier, Jason Stone. Camera (color), James Liston; editor, Mark Shearer; music, Kathryn Calder; production designer, Gordon Wilding; sound, Kelly Cole; assistant director, Kevin Speckmaier; casting, Kerry Rock.

With

Jesse Carere, Daryl Sabara, Annie Clark, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Cary Elwes, Jon Dore, Emmanuelle Vaugier.

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  1. Honest Abe says:

    The reality is that this movie was never made to be reviewed by Variety’s most aged and cynical critic.

    Is the film perfect, no? But fine performances from the three leads and a few outrageous laughs makes this a fun ride.

  2. Nostromov says:

    ^^ “A conspicuously uninspired mix” isn’t, really, bad @all – especially compared to MANY other movies, involving some of the new school: Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel in This Is the End (2013), for example; it’s not true, Teen Lust (2014) is -actually- fine.

    There aren’t any pretenses, delusions of grandeur – none of that Seth MacFarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), bull.

    Harold & Kumar stick one of their pieces to a frozen pole, but this may be slightly better… However, the ghey overtones that are (indirectly!) hinted throughout the movie culminate when they’re behind bars and his best friend offers him his (naked!) butt – in order for him to lose virginity – is where this movie ALMOST jumps the shark (prison surrounding is appropriate & appreciated, hehe).

    Thankfully, that scene is fairly (!) brief; because their sad, pathetic, attempt to gather homosexual audience(s) is totally unnecessary: girls’ breasts – we want to see, girls in the shower and locker-room(s) – check! A guy’s naked behind, offering penetration – thanks, but no thanks; there were, certainly, other ways to film that segment.

    Anywho, surprised that -somehow- I had just learned about this movie – and ended up watching it, tonight. Credits are rolling as I’m typing hear… End credit track… Nice (lol), too!..:)

    ^^ Teh first won, funny lyrics! xD

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