It rings false — Beach Rats is a catalog of desires, a kind of aesthetic carnival of lazy afternoons near the water, glistening skin, boardwalk trysts, neon clubs (which reminded me of Hittman’s excellent 2011 short Forever’s Gonna Start Tonight), desperate fumblings between bodies in secluded spaces, fireworks — but there’s an element of truth to it.
It may seem peculiar to go back and talk about a film two years after its release, especially one as forgotten as 2014’s As Above, So Below – so let me explain why anyone should care about the film first.
It’s a general rule in clowning – and I know with that phrase I’m already in danger of losing some of you, but stick with me – that you have to do something really cool and skilled before you can fail amusingly.
Bad movies come in many varieties. There are the dull ones, the ones with continuity errors and sloppy technical aspects, the ones with howlingly bad performances. There are offensive ones, or ones that simply don’t work on their own terms. There are the ones whose sheer terribleness provokes amazement and joy – the “so bad, it’s good” entries in the cinematic pantheon.