Disturbing Behavior (1998) — The Breakfast Club trips out

“Appropriate sparks are flying, somebody cue the power ballad.”

Justin’s rating: Oh Katie, you came and you kept me from dancing…

Justin’s review: Disturbing Behavior (or “Behaviour,” for our Canadian/British friends) is so eerily like a two-hour X-files that you’ll be craning your neck to see where the heck Scully and Mulder are. Here, a small Washington community blindly turns their kids over to a mad scientist who wants to diddle in their minds to make them the perfect children, sort of like those kids on Home Improvement.

Like The Faculty, Disturbing Behavior borrows heavily from classic sci-fi-horror film elements (Village of the Damned and Invasion of the Body Snatchers come to mind) while updating it to a more “hip” and “grungy” ’90s teen audience. It’s an experiment, in more ways than one, to keep the various horror genres alive. Also, like The Faculty, it features a group of kids contrasted to high school society in their various weird — and I daresay, eerie — personas. And finally, like The Faculty, I profess a strange fondness for this in-and-out flick, even though most people have denounced this film as just another lousy Gen Y ripoff. I disagree; it may be somewhat unoriginal, but it is fun and the visuals interesting, and I would always pick it to watch over I Know What You Did Last Summer or Halloween: Water. But thus endeth the comparison to another movie in a similar genre.

But I will concede that there are aspects of Disturbing Behavior that contributed to the many negative reviews, such as it being some sort of dark Dawson’s Creek (complete with cast transfer) and continued portrayal of parents being oblivious and actually damaging when their children are in mortal danger of Bad Evil Force. However, to attempt to convince you to give this Breakfast Club stepson a chance, here’s a list of enjoyable components of Disturbing Behavior:

1. Ultra-cutie Katie Holmes trying, yet once again, to be “edgy” and “out of control.” She does so through dark eye makeup and spoken phrases that I’ve never heard in my life, like “Sounds razor” and “Who put the acid in my Spam?”

2. Every time the robot kids get mildly aroused, they go on a killing rampage. Makes one wonder how long America would survive if this trend continued. Hotel honeymoon suits will become slaughterhouses.

3. A pretty freaky and trippy visit to the local insane asylum (every community has one, check your paper for listings). Right up there with House On Haunted Hill’s lockup.

4. Another social dissection of teen cliques by touring through the local high school cafeteria.

5. Dumb parents. I mean, really dumb. I think there would be a very popular horror movie if only someone would make the death focus on these very types of parental figures.

6. There’s a stoned albino. Wonder how they did the casting for that role.

7. The janitor is not what he seems…

8. The musical score gives a new definition to the word “ominous”.

9. This is the end of this review. Really. Thanks for reading all the way to the end.

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