Mysterious Skin

Director: Gregg Araki
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 1.5

After being abused by a deranged baseball coach trapped in his own warped, infantile world, two boys react in different ways: one represses the memory, fantasizing that he was seized by a UFO while the other turns to hustling and embraces his homosexuality. The assessment by some that this is a 'more mature' Araki is true but not exactly saying very much - the need for sensationalism is still apparent (though disguised as serious artiness) as the film amounts to little more than an exercise in the now-fashionable "Pedophilia Hysteria," wherein almost every single adult male in this movie has a secret desire to have sex with teenage boys (and smash them in the face with a shampoo bottle, particularly in one over-the-top scene). I understand the message that abuse begets abuse (the crippled woman who claims to have been abducted by several UFOs also shows the signs of being sexually abused), but what about the concept of 'resilience,' in which the victimized grow up to be fine, functioning adults, having made peace with their past and determined not to repeat the offense? If the inhabitants of this film weren't white trash, maybe they'd be able to afford therapy and spare us the time.