By: Trevor Jeffery
Neil (Jesse Carere) is a regular high school kid: he enjoys hanging out with his friends, he’s awkward around girls, he’s good at magic tricks, he’s an unknowing blood sacrifice for his Satanic church, he likes video games. When he finds out that he is in fact a blood sacrifice for his Satanic church, he and his friend Matt (Daryl Sabara) quest to corrupt his purity through losing his virginity.
While overall a tried and tired structure, the details of the premise are unique – to say the least. The whole “Church of Satan” (depicted as though no one on set actually knew anything about the Church of Satan) is intriguing and starts the movie off as something other than “dorky but decent bros awkwardly hitting on girls”, but was unexplored for the second act, during which it is no more than as a means for goofy teenage hijinks.
Blaine Thurier’s Teen Lust isn’t entirely shallow and it’s certainly not profound – it’s both. It flounders back and forth between angles and tones: it’s sexist in one scene, but then has a healthy and progressive attitude toward women and sex in another; some jokes are clever and situational, while others are so middle of the road that they can only be reacted to with a cringe; it raises points about religion, teen culture and family that are worth discussing, then slaps them down with a dick joke. Teen Lust certainly has its ground covered, and you can’t fault it for that because it works. Especially for what it’s trying to be: an a-typical typical teen sex comedy.
Notable, though, are the performances. Across the board they range from good to great. But, what really comes through is that it seems like these actors are having fun with the concept. Specifically Carere and Sabara, who play off each other like two teenage boys who are so close that it’s not weird that they’re almost equal participants in each others’ sex lives, and Cary Elwes who, as the Church’s priest-equivalent, plays a mix between Vincent Price having a stroke and Elvis if the King fronted a grunge band.
Teen Lust takes the worst parts of the teen sex comedy genre, and weaves an interesting take on teenage angst and devil worship around them. Decades of lousy similar films may have already lowered your expectations, leaving you pleasantly surprised with Teen Lust.
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