As if the 1995 teen drama “Kids” was not a bad enough parental nightmare, these 4 movies could be considered rowdy relatives to that tale of an HIV-positive teen who is on a sexual marathon. Drug use, teen suicide, bullying, pre-marital sex and gun violence are just some of the themes found in these cinematic cousins to “Kids.” The adolescent temptations seen here will not disappear just because you cover your eyes. Become a brave and open-minded mom or dad and let these chilling puberty stories inspire better parenting.
Movies about kids, or any subject for that matter, do not get much more disturbing than this independent film directed by the co-screenwriter of the movie “Kids,” Harmony Korine. This nihilistic story consists of random vignettes revolving around the seemingly hopeless lives of an impoverished town that has been devastated by a vicious tornado. Some of the unsettling images that will stain a parent’s brain at night include: satanic practices, glue being used as a narcotic, a girl with Down Syndrome getting pimped by her own brother, and overall bad hygiene that will prompt an immediate stampede to the bathroom when the credits role.
Gus Van Sant, the award-winning director of other unnerving youth-related films like “My Own Private Idaho”, “Drugstore Cowboy” and “Paranoid Park”, crafted this “peer pressure gone wrong” film based on the infamous Columbine high school shootings. What makes this movie’s theme of outcast anxiety and violence even more realistic is its use of first-time actors and regular local kids. Van Sant also happened to be one of the producers that helped bring the movie “Kids” to life.
“The Virgin Suicides”
The extraordinarily gifted artistic director Sofia Coppola, daughter of the cinematic savior Francis Ford Coppola, sat in her first director’s chair with this spooky teen film about rebellion against repression. This distant cousin to the movie “Kids” contains a first-class cast that includes: Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, Josh Hartnett, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. The film follows 4 teenage sisters whose parents’ excessive sheltering from the outside world makes them long for freedom and escape–even if it means plotting a group suicide. Coppola’s perfect use of mood music and fluid images capture the same surreal sensations these bewildered kids were probably feeling.
When a parent worries about their kids being sexually active, contracting diseases, using drugs, getting shot, or committing suicide—peer pressure is normally involved. This tumultuous teenagers journey involves a girl getting on her mother’s bad side when she begins to imitate a very promiscuous young peer. This new rebellious lifestyle threatens to put her previous A-student innocence to rest. Similar to the movie “Kids”, the desire to grow up fast wins out over rational decision-making.