The Chumscrubber is a dark comedy about the lives of people who live in upper-class suburbia. It all begins when Dean Stiffle (Jamie Bell) finds the body of his friend and small-time supplier of narcotics, Troy. He doesn't bother telling any of the adults because he knows they won't care. Everyone in town is too self obsessed to worry about anyone else but themselves and most are on some form of drug just to get themselves through the day. But as Troy's death is concealed so too is his stash and the supply chain dries up. Local drug dealers (Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, Lou Taylor Pucci) at the school soon run out and kidnap Dean's brother, threatening to kill him unless he finds Troy's stash, but they've grabbed the wrong kid...
The self-obsessed of suburbia.
- The Chumscrubber review by Shatner's Bassoon
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The Chumscrubber focuses on the character of high school student Dean Stiffle, who while visiting his best friend Troy finds his body hanging in his room. Dean calmly walks away and doesn't bother telling anyone that Troy is dead as he figures everyone is too self-obsessed to care. Troy happened to be the local high school drug dealer, and when the supply of drugs dries up Dean is threatened by three students to find and hand over Troy’s stash of pills. When Dean refuses their demands they decide to blackmail him by kidnapping his younger brother, except they kidnap the wrong kid whose parents are oblivious that he’s even missing. Other parts of the plot involve family members and inhabitants of Dean’s suburban neighbourhood, all of whom are wrapped up on their own self-obsessed lives. Although strangely labelled as a dark comedy, there is actually very little comedy in this film, and while there are a couple of funny moments on the whole this is dark, sombre and sometimes depressing look at how people put their own personal desires before those of others. It also reminded me a lot of Donnie Darko, the storylines are poles apart but the two films share a common tone in which the lead character is perceived by everyone around him as someone who slightly troubled and has internal issues, when in fact he is the most balanced and rational one among them. Overall, this is a great film and Jamie Bell puts in yet another talented performance. If you enjoy this you should also check out the equally good ‘Thumbsucker’ and ‘Dear Wendy’.