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"ELEPHANT"
(2003) (Alex Frost, Eric Deulen) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Minor None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Mild Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: As an average day unfolds at a high school, two students prepare to embark on a Columbine-style shooting rampage.
PLOT:
It's an ordinary day at an ordinary Oregon high school. Photographer Elias (ELIAS MCCONNELL) is out taking shots, lifeguard Nathan (NATHAN TYSON) is planning on leaving school early with his girlfriend, Carrie (CARRIE FINKLEA), and bulimic friends Brittany (BRITTANY MOUNTAIN), Jordan (JORDAN TAYLOR) and Nicole (NICOLE GEORGE) are gossiping and complaining about others.

Acadia (ALICIA MILES) arrives for her class on gay issues, John (JOHN ROBINSON) tries to cope with having an alcoholic father (TIMOTHY BOTTOMS), nerdy Michelle (KRISTEN HICKS) is reprimanded for wearing long pants to gym class and Alex (ALEX FROST) must put up with the abuse of others.

As he and his friend Eric (ERIC DEULEN) plot their revenge against those who've wronged them, none of the students are remotely aware about how their lives are suddenly going to change.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and those interested in the Columbine shootings might be intrigued by it, but it doesn't seem too likely that a lot of kids will want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For disturbing violent content, language, brief sexuality and drug use - all involving teens.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALEX FROST plays a picked on student who decides to get his revenge on his tormentors and others by going on a shooting spree with Eric (with whom he briefly shares a shower and kiss). He uses strong profanity.
  • ERIC DEULEN plays partner in crime who shares the same characteristics.
  • JOHN ROBINSON plays their classmate who's trying to deal with having an alcoholic father.
  • ELIAS MCCONNELL plays the school photographer.
  • NATHAN TYSON plays a lifeguard who may have had sex with his girlfriend a few weeks back (based on some comments).
  • CARRIE FINKLEA plays his girlfriend who might be going in for a pregnancy test (based on some comments).
  • JORDAN TAYLOR, NICOLE GEORGE and BRITTANY MOUNTAIN play three friends who gossip and complain about others when not vomiting up their lunches in a bulimic fashion.
  • ALICIA MILES plays a girl who attends a class or meeting about gay issues.
  • KRISTEN HICKS plays a somewhat nerdy girl who's reluctant to show her legs in P.E. class and works in the library.
  • TIMOTHY BOTTOMS plays John's alcoholic father who's already inebriated in the morning.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 13 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. It's implied that a student might be leaving school for a pregnancy test, a girl's bare butt is briefly seen in a school shower and two male students briefly kiss in a home shower.

    Violence consists of two students going on a shooting spree at their high school and killing other students and adults. Some of that has rather bloody results and those scenes and the anticipation of them occurring will likely be disturbing, tense and/or suspenseful to viewers. Those killers obviously have bad attitudes, while others are also present.

    It's possible some kids could imitate such a shooting, while other imitative behavior is also present. Three girls are heard purposefully vomiting in the bathroom (as in bulimia), a guy lights up a joint, a few students briefly smoke, and a student's father drunk-drives in the morning.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A car driven by John's intoxicated father sideswipes another car, causing some property damage to both.
  • A cafeteria worker (a student) lights up a joint and motions for another worker to join him (we don't see any actual smoking of it).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear the sound of Brittany, Jordan and Nicole purposefully vomiting in bathroom stalls after lunch.
  • We see Eric playing a first-person shooter video game where animated characters are gunned down with brief animated blood popping out.
  • Alex shoots a girl point blank in the face, splattering a great deal of blood on the library books behind her. He and Alex and then shoot other students, but we don't see the impact (but do hear the loud sounds of the shots).
  • A student is shot and his blood pools next to his body and then smears along the floor as others drag him back into a room.
  • We see dead bodies on the floor during the shooting.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • John's father uses the adjective "Jap" when describing a Japanese rifle.
  • When asked if he's going to a concert, Elias replies he isn't because "my parents are being bitches this week."
  • A mean student throws something wet and clumpy at Alex, requiring him to go into the bathroom to clean it off.
  • A girl calls Michelle a "loser."
  • Eric and Alex obviously have bad attitudes for purposefully murdering classmates and adults in their school (with Alex even telling Eric to "have fun").
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Since many viewers will know what's presumably coming (a Columbine type shooting), the scenes leading up to it might be progressively unsettling and suspenseful. Once the young men arrive at the school and begin shooting others (see "Violence" for details), the tension and suspense rise quite a bit.
  • We hear the sound of a gun's chamber being loaded in the library, but the scene ends there (for now).
  • We see two students still inside the school during the shooting, and they run from one of the gunmen. He later finds them hiding in the cafeteria freezer. We just see a shot of him pointing his gun at them (they're not seen) and doing the "eenie, meenie, miny mo" thing with them. It's assumed that he shoots them, but we never know.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Automatic weapons: Used to threaten, wound or kill various people in a school. See "Violence" for details.
  • Eric and Alex talk about setting explosives in the school, but we never see them and they never go off.
  • We see Eric playing a first-person shooter video game where animated characters are gunned down with brief animated blood popping out.
  • We briefly see the home page of a gun website with a graphic of a gun on it.
  • We briefly see an anti-aircraft gun on a TV documentary about WWII.
  • Eric and Alex receive a shipped box with a semi-automatic rifle inside. They then assemble and test fire it in the garage, shooting a stack of wood.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Get the f*ck out of here," "What the f*ck?" "F*ck with us," "You stupid f*ck," "Don't go through my sh*t," "Bitch" (for male and females), "My parents are being bitches this week," "Loser," "What a bitch," "Shut up," "You suck," "Hell yeah, dude," "Sweet," "What a freak" and "What the hell are you doing?"
  • The film could inspire kids to do a similar at school shooting to get back at those who've wronged them in some way or just to strike out at the system.
  • A miscellaneous student does some break dancing at school.
  • A girl wears a midriff revealing top.
  • A mean student throws something wet and clumpy at Alex, requiring him to go into the bathroom to clean it off.
  • Elias wears a bracelet made from a bent fork around his wrist.
  • Alex drinks milk directly from the container at home.
  • We hear the sound of Brittany, Jordan and Nicole purposefully vomiting in bathroom stalls after lunch.
  • Alex gives "the finger" with both hands to some sheet music he's playing on the piano.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • The sudden sound of gunshots in several scenes might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 13 "f" words (1 written), 6 "s" words, 4 hells, 3 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A young punker asks Elias, who's asked to photograph him and his girlfriend, if he photographs naked people and then makes such a proposition, but Elias declines the offer.
  • Nathan asks his girlfriend Carrie about an appointment she has and wonders if it has anything to do with them camping two weeks ago (possibly meaning he's asking if she's pregnant, but that's never addressed again).
  • We briefly see a girl's bare butt in the gym shower at school.
  • Eric joins Alex in a home shower and the two briefly kiss (we see them from the chest up through the shower door).
  • SMOKING
  • Two miscellaneous students are briefly seen smoking.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • John is upset and crying over his father's drunken state.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Columbine shootings that obviously inspired this film.
  • The causes of such shootings.
  • Dealing with high school life and various types of classmates.
  • Dealing with alcoholic parents.
  • We see some students in a class or meeting about gay people and there's a discussion about appearing gay on the street, as well as some gay rams.
  • We hear the sound of Brittany, Jordan and Nicole purposefully vomiting in bathroom stalls after lunch.
  • Eric tells Alex not to drink from another student's cup since he could get herpes or something from it.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A car driven by John's intoxicated father sideswipes another car, causing some property damage to both.
  • A mean student throws something wet and clumpy at Alex, requiring him to go into the bathroom to clean it off.
  • We see Eric playing a first-person shooter video game where animated characters are gunned down with brief animated blood popping out.
  • We see some early footage of Eric and Alex shooting in the school with kids fleeing the scene (we don't see any impact at this time).
  • Alex shoots a girl point blank in the face, splattering a great deal of blood on the library books behind her. He and Alex and then shoot other students, but we don't see the impact (but do hear the loud sounds of the shots).
  • A student is shot and his blood pools next to his body and then smears along the floor as others drag him back into a room.
  • We see fires burning on or from some hallway lockers.
  • While other students panic and flee the see, one -- Benny -- calmly walks through the hallways until he encounters Alex holding a gun on the principal. He nearly gets to Alex when the shooter spins around and fires (we don't see the impact). Alex then lets the principal go, only to shoot him in the back when he tries to run off (we don't see the impact but do see him fall to the floor).
  • A gunman aims his gun at two students hiding in the cafeteria freezer. It's assumed that he shoots them, but we never know.
  • Alex shoots another person (we don't see the impact).



  • Reviewed October 28, 2003 / Posted November 7, 2003

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