Wasted on the Young
|Wasted on the Young|
|Directed by||Ben C. Lucas|
|Produced by||Janelle Landers
|Written by||Ben C. Lucas|
|Music by||Geri Green
|Edited by||Leanne Cole|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures (AUS)
Indomina Releasing (US/Canada)
|Running time||97 minutes|
Wasted on the Young is an Australian thriller, directed by first-time feature filmmaker Ben C. Lucas, and shot by cinematographer Dan Freene, which tells the story of a traumatic high school incident that sets off a fatal chain of events for two brothers. The film was shot in 2009 at an ultra modern mansion in City Beach and at Edith Cowan University’s Mount Lawley and Joondalup campuses. The film received $750,000 in ScreenWest funding through its West Coast Visions initiative, as well as funding from Screen Australia.
The film begins with Zack and his friends, Brook and Jonathan, at the beach, where they leave the unconscious Xandrie on the coast. It then rewinds to retell the events leading to this scene.
Darren and his step-brother Zack are complete opposites. Darren likes to spend time in front of the computer, and doesn't associate himself much with other people. Zack is high on the social ladder at their private high school, mainly earning his popularity through his wealth and position on the school swim team - Darren is also on the team but he swims purely for enjoyment, without the social recognition and status. A bubbly and intelligent girl, named Xandrie, takes a liking to Darren. To spend more time with Darren, she decides to attend one of Zack's extravagant house parties with her friend, Ella. Zack and his friends notice her infatuation with Darren.
During the party, Xandrie fails to meet up with Darren as they are unable to find each other in the crowd. Zack's friends, Simone and Karenn, spike Xandrie's drink and take her and Ella down to the basement, where Zack and his other friends are. Xandrie falls unconscious due to the drugs, and Zack and his friends assault and rape her. Meanwhile Darren, barred by Brook from following her, decides to go back to his room and falls asleep. Zack, Brook and Jonathan take Xandrie to the beach, and leave her for dead. The next morning, Darren finds Xandrie's phone in his basement, and searches for her at school but is unable to find her. He approaches Ella, who confides that she also doesn't know where Xandrie is. Darren confronts Zack, who denies knowing her whereabouts.
Wanting answers, Darren questions Jonathan and beats him up, but is unable to get answers from him. He tracks Xandrie's home address and visits her, but she doesn't answer the door. A few days pass, and Xandrie becomes the topic of negative rumours at the school. But Xandrie returns to school, much to the surprise of everyone, especially Darren. While with Ella, Xandrie is approached by Karenn and Simone, with Karenn warning her that it's only her word against theirs.
Darren, still wanting to find out about what really happened, steals Jonathon's laptop to download its contents, as Jonathon often films the escapades of himself and his friends. He is sick to discover footage of the events leading to Xandrie's assault.
Darren finds time to see Xandrie, and offers her phone back, but she declines. Darren swears to her he was not part of what happened. She rejects his apology, saying that everyone's already made up their mind about what really happened. Unable to sway her, Darren returns home. We see a flashback of Zack and Darren's first meeting.
Zack visits Xandrie at her house, and tells her to keep her mouth shut because no one is going to believe her. Zack finally begins to feel anxious as he realises the consequences of his and his friends' actions. Darren meets up with Xandrie late at night, and she tells him that she's planning on leaving, calling their school a parallel universe where nothing is real. The next day, Xandrie arrives at the school with a gun, and meets with Darren. Zack and Brook agree Darren is a liability, and Zack sends Brooke after him. Darren runs after Brook punches him, and Brook chases him inside the library, past a hidden Xandrie who is holding a gun. The two boys eventually attract a crowd which traps Darren and Brook attacks him. Zack arrives and tells Darren that he deserves it because he went against him. He asks Brook and Jonathan to escort him out and fix the mess. Xandrie arrives in front of him, pointing the gun in his face. Zack warns her that killing him won't change anything; she still won't convince everyone that she isn't crazy and that he's innocent. While outside with Brook still beating him up, Darren hears a gunshot from the inside, with everyone running out. Dizzy, he manages to go in, and sees Xandrie's dead body, who apparently committed suicide, unable to shoot Zack.
To ensure his reputation remains safe, Zack throws another party. Darren devises a plan with his friend, Shay O'Brien, and coerces him into making Zack insult his friends, and films it. Meanwhile, Darren convinces Simone to drug Zack's drink, to which she reluctantly agrees because of his threats. Darren screens his secret video at the party, so Brook and Jonathan hear Shay's conversation with Zack. Various televisions inside house open up, displaying live footage of two empty seats, much to everyone's confusion. Zack follows Darren (whom he sees as Xandrie) in the basement, but he falls unconscious. When he wakes, he is bound in one of the seats, with Darren pointing a gun at him. Everyone in the party watches this on the screens as it unfolds, and Darren requests the votes of all the students via text: which of them should be killed? He sits beside Zack in the second chair and waits as the students cast their votes. A robot devised by Darren automatically shoots the gun at one of them, depending on result of the vote. The gun eventually shoots.
We cut to a figure swimming in the pool at some kind of facility, eventually they emerge: Darren is alive.
- Oliver Ackland as Darren
- Adelaide Clemens as Xandrie
- Alex Russell as Zack
- Patrick Cullen as Shay
- Georgina Haig as Simone
- Grealdine Hakewill as Ella
- Jessica Rawnsley as Nikki Rosen
- Tom Stokes as Jonathon
- Kym Thorne as Karenn
The world premiere of the film occurred at the 2010 Sydney Film Festival, on 13 June 2010, where it was the only Australian film entered. The film was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Pusan International Film Festival, the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Torino Film Festival.
The film had its theatrical release to cinema in Australian on 3 March 2011 and grossed $52,118 on its opening week in the Australia cinemas.
- Sam Dallas, "Box Office: Insidious posts modest opening", If Magazine 17 May 2011 accessed 24 May 2014
- "Exclusive: interview with Wasted on the Young director Ben C. Lucas". Encore magazine. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Foster, Simon (18 June 2010). "Wasted on the Young". SBS Television. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Coetsee, Alexa (25 February 2011). "Wasted on the Young's hometown premiere". PerthNow (The Sunday Times). Retrieved 18 March 2011.
- "Big-screen lessons from school of hard knocks". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010.
- "Wasted on the Young". Sydney Film Festival. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Dallas, Sam (7 March 2011). "Wasted On The Young posts disappointing numbers at local box office". IF Magazine. Retrieved 16 March 2011.