Shithouse (2020)

by Afra Nariman

Shithouse (2020)

Director: Cooper Raiff

Stars: Cooper Raiff, Dylan Gelula, Amy Landecker, Logan Miller


Interesting because questions of being are brought up and even discussed, but given that we are listening to 19 year olds who are for the first time dealing with the overbearing weight of existential thoughts — of their alienation, mortality, morality, maturity, etc. — acting honesty, the film avoids being particularly profound about any of the ideas that it inspires — or at least, the level of profundity is on par with what you would expect from a couple of 19 year old college students sharing a bottle of wine — it’s aimless and confused, still trying to figure itself out, before it’s ready to tell us what to do or how to be.

While I don’t doubt that this film would’ve felt more atmospheric, even nostalgic in a removed sense, were it filmed on celluloid; there is undoubtably something exciting about the fact that a filmmaker as young as Raiff was at the time (23!!) could just pick up a camera and make a movie about his life in college without needing worry about the extensive costs of shooting on celluloid. Shithouse isn’t perfect, and it isn’t as great as Cha Cha Real Smooth, but Raiff’s voice is established here; which is only expanded upon and refined further in Cha Cha. He has a great talent for capturing authenticity in the emotions and performances that arise at the intersections between his characters and the circumstances he writes them in, and I’m excited to see what more he makes going forward.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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