young high school teen finds himself falling into a depression after
the death of his best friend as a result of a suicide. Trying to
cope with his friends' death, his school life seems to take a turn
for the worse until he finds friendship with a group of people that
seem to "understand" his pain in this feature comedy/drama
motion picture by Director Joe Grisaffi titled "Lars The Emo
by the script and short film with the same name and written by
Paxton Gilmore, "Lars The Emo Kid", the feature movie,
follows Lars Hyde (played by Mr. Gilmore) a high school teen coping
with the suicide death of his best friend Evan, (played by
Nicholas Mills). At school, Lars finds that he is having trouble
adjusting and clearly he starts falling deeper into a black hole of
depression and self-abuse.
handle death in different ways and as the story progresses Evan’s
girlfriend Rosemary (played by Nicole Elliott) seems to be handling
things okay, although she is worried that Lars is falling apart and
depressed. Adding to his frustration, Lars is being tormented on a daily basis by the jocks,
specifically, Blake (played by Eric Schneider), Evan’s older
brother and one time friend of Lars. To top things off, his parents
are separating and Lars’ father is, as well, not handling the
separation very well and not setting a good example for Lars.
the edge and looking at a gravestone, Lars is determine to continue his
self-abuse and sinks to the point of wanting to end it all. Alone,
depressed and contemplating the idea of ending his life, Lars runs
into Leonard (played by Tyler Tackett), Donnie (played by David
Simpson), Gina (played by Alyssia Dujmovich, and Emily (played by
Rebecca Bertot) a group of Goth's and Emo’s. With some things
in common and some things uncommon, Lars is in a world of pain,
sorrow and emotions, an emo's life.
Written by Paxton Gilmore the story was interesting and, at the same
time, had a comedic flare to it. I don't know if it was
sarcasm or simply a very dry sense of humor, but it was a humorous
look at some topical issues as depression, self-abuse, bullying and
friendships. The story,
itself, was a little confusing in that there wasn’t a reference
point for the viewer to start from leading to a conflict resolution.
There were several interpretations, from some of the audience
members, about what was going on in this movie. On the one hand, you
have Lars who is depressed and showing signs of depression and
loathing as a result of the death of his friend Evan, on the
other hand you have Lars who exhibits “Emo” characteristics
(a loose definition of the concept and one meaning “emotional”),
perhaps not due to the death of Evan.
And, even further you have Lars exhibiting a love for Evan
that causes Lars to exhibit suicidal traits. Whichever way one reads
this plot, Lars is nonetheless finding himself. In this story,
Mr. Gilmore actually gives the audience two definitions of “emo”,
Lars’ definition and Leonard’s definition either way you look at
it “Lars the Emo Kid” is a good story by Mr. Gilmore.
by Joe Grisaffi, “Lars The Emo Kid” is by far, his best directed
feature movie and one in which he has NOT written AND directed. Mr.
Grisaffi’s past achievements include two hit feature movies
“Dead of Knight” and “Conjoined”, among others and two
excellent examples of fine movie making. As Joe, stated at the
screening, “this is not a horror film”.
Mr. Grisaffi has come a long way in applying his movie-making
skills and techniques to this current endeavor. The movie itself was
very focused; sound was consistent throughout the entire movie
considering that very little ADR was performed on this feature, that
according to the director. The sound itself was rich and deep with
no noticeable echoing (a common mistake in a lot of amateur
independent movies). The director was able to get some very nice
performances from the actors. He did a great job and
everything came together in this example of moviemaking. Mr.
Grisaffi took his time in completing this movie. “Lars” has been
in the works since, somewhere around 2011 and this work shows the
aptitude of a group of very talented movie-makers.
Director Joe Grisaffi was the cinematographer in "Lars".
Again, sound was excellent, camera was focused and he was able to
bring out the best in his actors. Blocking was outstanding, lighting
was impressive, set design was simple but it worked for the type of
movie, costumes were "real", camera work was creative and
interesting, editing was moved the story along very nicely, cuts
were seamless and flowing, transitions were, as well, seamless,
unremarkable and moved the story through each stage of from
beginning, to the middle, the climax and to the very end. Music
complimented the overall tone of the movie using, some music that
may be classified as “emo”, color grading was well done, visual
effects by DWN Productions was outstanding and makeup was excellent.
The production and post-production team did an excellent job in
creating a very well made movie from beginning to the end.
There were several characters in this movie that stood out.
Saying that, all the actors did a fantastic job in their
performances. In any movie you will have the principals and
supporting cast. We are not going to go through all the cast member
and assess their performances. We will say, however, that some of
the most prevalent characters were played by played by Paxton
Gilmore, Tyler Tackett, Nicole Elliott, Eric Schneider, Jeremiah
Kliesing, Sara Gaston and Mark Roberts. Their performances were
outstanding and carried this movie. Very nice job from all of the
Having seen several of Director Joe Grisaffi's other works we went
into the theater with an open mind. We were expecting a good movie,
but we were not expecting a really good movie. "Lars the Emo
Kid" is an excellent example of a well-developed and well-made
independent movie, and, a testament of the work of a talented
director, writer, producers, cast and crew and casting supervisor
who assembled a fantastic group of actors that played well each
other. We enjoyed the movie. It was funny and entertaining.
Described as "Napoleon Dynamite" to "Juno" to
"Better off Dead"...we think "Lars the Emo Kid"
will most likely be a title that other movies will use to describe
their movies. We believe that this movie stands on its own.
TSIRS Rating: C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine and
C47Houston WEEKLY using the TSIRS gives "Lars the Emo Kid"
a strong 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Title: Lars The Emo
Starship Films L.L.C.
Sunday, January 4th, 2015
The Studio Movie Grill-City Centre, Houston, Texas.
Directed by Joe
Written by: Paxton
Produced by: Sabrea
Somers Munz, Chuck Norfolk and Joe Grisaffi
by: Todd McCammon
Mixers: Chris Bourque of Que Sound
Colorist: Dan Diaz
Consultation: Teddy Hallaron
James Wetuski, Helen Hansen and Kenneth Andrews
Double: Josh Mansfield
Rebecca Bertot, Alyssa Rodriguez, Lorena Lopez, Fanci Bernot,
Sound by: Scott
Frank, Chuck Norfolk, Travis Tabuena, Len Wehrung and Channing
Danny McCarty and DWN Productions
Assistant Director: Dimitri Kouzas
John St. Germain, Kenneth Lindbloom, Lorena Lopez
Slate and Editing
Associate: Kristen Elliott
Casting by: Molly
Gilmore as Lars, Tyler Tackett as Leonard, Nicole Elliott as
Rosemary, David Simpson as Donnie, Alyssia Dujmovich as Gina,
Rebecca Bertot as Emily, Eric Schneider as Blake, Jacob Byrd as
Jason, Chris Warren as Skeeter, Air Saturn as Phillip, Roland Ruiz
as Adrian, Isaiah Wilson as Tyrell and Nicholas Mills as Evan. Sara
Gaston as Cindy, Mark Roberts as Randy, Roxy Vandiver as Miranda,
Jeremiah Kliesing as Jerry, Michael Wayne Thomas, Anne Quakenbush,
Jake Messinger, Bardia Mattin, Mel House, Dan Braverman, Celeste
Roberts, Tiffany Grant, Howard Calvert, Jamelle Kent, Tom Martino,
Elizabeth Redpath and Scott Vernon.
Seth Hunter, Joe Grisaffi, Chaz Rodriguez, Tedd Dicus, Marque McCoy,
Anthony Contreras, Justin Zapata, Victor Vega, Vicente Vega, Threezo
Hill, Brandon Hampton, Ashley Stern, JamesWetuski, Joe Bates, Derek
Huey, Pablo Bracho, Grace Powell, Shane Stewart, Janie Stewart, Emma
Timmons, Laura Levine, Doug Dreher, Aaron Harrison, Lindsay Mays,
Kendra Muecke, Michael Devarrennes, Molly Pedowicz, Kasey James,
Jessie Dean, Christopher Riley, Kayla Brocato, Curtisha Baker,
Ashton Moore, Kevan Copelin, Kenneth Andrews, Jon Egging, Larry
Carrell, Todd Jason Cook, Tom Dujmovich, Arlene Dujmovich, Belinda
Owino, Anna Ventura, Rachel Paul, Norma Lipert, Hannah Sweatt,
on Facebook: www.facebook.larstheemokid
H. Luna Jan. 10th, 2015 Copyright C47Houston News &
Entertainment Magazine/C47Houston WEEKLY