Evan Rachel Wood plays Tracy. As our tale begins, the 13-year-old is still on good terms with her mum (Holly Hunter), and is very much one of the nice girls in junior high. In that environment, you get devoured, and it isn’t long before she resorts to theft to befriend the popular Evie (co-writer Nikki Reed). Cue the rapid descent into crime, sex and drugs.
These are the teen years as chronicled from the lower circles of Hell. The handheld camera matches the high energy…of the performances and the editing. Wood’s turn as Tracy is remarkable, which makes what happens all the more convincing and harrowing. Extremely well done, but not a fun time at the flicks.
The sound is crisp and clear, but on the whole a bit disappointing. The movie crackles with such ferocity and energy, and the audio should too, but it doesn’t. The surround elements are minimal. The school scenes, for example, should immerse us in the red-in-tooth-and-claw environment as we see Wood moving through the feral crowds, but we get nothing. Even the pounding rock score should have a much stronger surround presence than it does.
The picture is much better. Both 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and fullscreen versions are provided (one on each side of the disc). The colours are superb, and there is no grain or edge enhancement. No grain, that is, except where some interesting stylistic choices call for it. The image is very sharp.
Surprisingly little for a film that has become a real star-maker. There’s a commentary by director/co-writer Catherine Hardwicke, Wood, Reed and Brady Corbet. With this many people(most very young), the commentary could have been an annoying giggle-fest, and while there is some of that, the participants still have a lot to say, and clearly feel passionately about the film and its goals. The widescreen side of the disc has 10 deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Hardwicke), while the fullscreen side has the theatrical trailer and a run-of-the-mill featurette. The menu is fully animated and scored.
Raw, intense filmmaking. Keep your eye on Wood and Reed, as well. They’re goingplaces.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
- Theatrical Trailer
- Making-of Featurette