The teenage success rates are suspiciously high in the secluded town of Cradle Bay. There
are no drugs, no drinking and only A-grade students. When rebel Steve Clark (James
Marsden) comes to town, he joins forces with other outcasts Gavin (Nick Stahl) and Rachel
(Katie Holmes) to investigate their peers 'disturbing behaviour'. They soon discover that
the school psychiatrist ahs set up a procedure that curtails any rebellious behaviour and
Steve is next on the hit list!
"Ah, here we go again, another teen horror film, full of pretty stars, overbearing cliches, plenty of excessive violence, loud music and a script with the intellectual density of a pin head. It's a film trying to perhaps remake, in some basic way, The Stepford Wives, but of course this silly film about mind control lacks any of the chilling resonance that permeated throughout that film. Disturbing Behaviour is a film that purports to be about something, but is really a vacuous mess, a dull, badly made film that caters to the lowest common denominator - and beyond. Made by a TV director who lacks the experience to bring a coherant vision to the big screen, the acting is woeful. It's a dark and dingy film, shoddily crafted with no genuine care taken to at least try to communicate with an audience. Ironically, the film is about the danger of individuality, yet here we have a film that follows the crowd - we've seen it all before. The only disturbing aspect of this behaviourally challenged movie, is that someone spent money to have it made in the first place. View it at your own peril!"
"Man, going to school is getting to be one scary activity. First some nasty hydrophilic aliens take over a school in The Faculty. Now there are creepy goings-on in the little town of Cradle Bay in Disturbing Behaviour. The film starts out interestingly with the mysterious happenings turning bad kids good; not the other way around. Director David Nutter doesn't overplay his hand by revealing the secret behind the mystery too early. But he also takes the subject matter awfully seriously; so don't go in expecting any goofy Scream-type fun. Unfortunately, despite several literary references, his serious approach isn't justified by the sometimes confused (and confusing) script. Part of the problem with Disturbing Behaviour is the good guys aren't "good" enough to allow the audience to fully identify with them, and the bad guys aren't all that "bad" once you know why they're doing what they're doing. Also - and this is just a personal bugbear of mine - why can't someone come up with a climax to a genre picture like this that doesn't involve a whole lot of running around and beating up? The young cast makes a pretty good fist of the material, with Nick Stahl particularly effective as Gavin. If you buy the X-Files style premise, you'll probably find Disturbing Behaviour a reasonable enough diversion for 90 minutes or so. If you don't, the experience is likely to be a quickly forgettable one."
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SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES
DISTURBING BEHAVIOUR (M15+)
CAST: Natassia Maltke, Tobias Mehler, Nick Stahl, Steve Railsback, Chris Owens
DIRECTOR: David Nutter
PRODUCER: Armyan Bernstein, Jonathan Shestack
SCRIPT: Howard Gordon, Scott Rosenberg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John S. Bartley
EDITOR: Randy Jon Morgan
MUSIC: Mark Snow
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Nelson Coates
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 18, 1999
VIDEO RELEASE: March 13, 2000
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar