Mean Creek

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If you had the chance to give your bully a taste of their own medicine, would you?  If you think you know the answer, watch this film and it may change your mind.

I enjoy blockbusters, but sometimes I just want to watch a cleverly written independent film and Mean Creek falls in this category.

Mean Creek is about a group of friends who have had enough of bully, George (Josh Peck), picking on Sam (played fantastically by Rory Culkin) who is small for his age.  The group decide to plan a day out on a boat, instigated by Sam’s older brother, Rocky (Trevor Morgan), with the intention of humiliating George and giving him a taste of his own medicine.

Written and directed by Jacob Aaron Este, Mean Creek was released in 2004.  It deservedly received two independent movie awards and was nominated for others.

The film is set (and filmed) in Oregon.  A welcome change from the usual film locations.  The scenery is gorgeous, but foreboding in some ways, hence perfect for the building tension as the teens spend longer together in the boat.

Mean Creek reminds me of my childhood in the early 80’s.  Those long, hot summers where you would disappear all day with your friends on your bikes.

Beautifully shot, the child actors are superb.  At times, in other films, some child actors can over-emote, or be plain wooden.  There is no such trouble here.  Rory Culkin is particularly great as Sam, miserable at being tormented, but not keen on getting his own back either.

The music, produced and composed by tomandandy, is flawless and sets the tone perfectly.  I particularly love the track by Ethan Gold, “Our Love is Beautiful”.

If you love ‘Stand by Me’ and ‘The Butterfly Effect’, you will love Mean Creek.

Sam: “You know, if we hurt him, we’d be just as bad as him.”

Rocky: “We need to hurt him without really hurting him.”

 

What is your favourite independent film?

Images: IMDb

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