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State's Evidence (2006)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  2006 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 578 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 5 critic

When 16 year old Scott Byers decided to bring a camcorder to school, none of his schoolmates ever imagined what was to come... See full synopsis »

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Title: State's Evidence (2006)

State's Evidence (2006) on IMDb 6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Scott
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Patrick
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Rick
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Sandy (as Alexa Vega)
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Brian
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...
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Kelly
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Tyrone
W.B. Alexander ...
Tyrone's Friend
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Little Girl
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Bridgette
Paul Motley ...
Peterson (as Paul Lawrence Motley)
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Dad
...
Cashier
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Storyline

When 16 year old Scott Byers decided to bring a camcorder to school, none of his schoolmates ever imagined what was to come... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Suicide is never easy...

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing violent content including a graphic killing rampage, child rape/murder, suicidal behavior, pervasive language and some sexual content - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Scott: I intend on having my 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' doing everything I so choose.
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Connections

References Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What Motivates Youth Today As Dictated By Confused Middle Aged Men.
2 August 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I honestly have to wonder if many of the other reviewers have seen the same film as I. Unfortunately, I went into this film with very high expectations, as the premise and the content warnings seemed very much like they would deliver something compelling and extreme. The main red flag however, is that this was a low budget movie from a director who made no further films. This can sometimes mean something brilliant, but in this case, the film just barely steps above the bar of "cheap amateurish independent straight to video film".

The Writing Style/Plot Development

One important thing to note is that this film is very dialogue driven, mainly with the monologues by the characters to the camera. I know well about the writing process, and as in plays, when your story is so heavily dialogue based, you're at a great risk of making your characters seem schizophrenic, because that dialogue is ultimately based on the episodic mood swings of the writer over a long period of time, crunched down into the short period of time within the material. The foremost problem with the material delivered by these young actors is that really, it sounds like dialogue written by a balding middle aged man who THINKS he knows how teenagers talk, feel, and rationalize, which is packed with tonnes of whiny pseudo intellectual nonsense, which because they're TEENAGERS, never goes full circle and often ends in vanity, triteness, or ambiguity, so in most cases a REAL concise reason for committing suicide is never established, and how each character's "inner thoughts" contradict from scene to scene shows that the writer himself did not BELIEVE the dialogue, and thus was unable to make it coherent and credible.

Actors/Characters

My first impression was that the directing was bad, but the story and idea were good. I began to think twice about this in how the instigator of the whole premise "Scott", tells his very eclectic group of friends about his idea one by one, who ALL think it's so cool and amazing, and that they too MUST commit suicide along with him. The young actors were fairly mediocre, aside from Kris Lemche as "Patrick" who was the only one really able to create a compelling character with some sort of screen presence. I personally did not like any of the characters, especially the main protagonist "Scott" who speaks like a programmed robot, so filled with technical analytical phrases, that he only comes across as a caricature, and his friends have a bit of this too. Even though they're supposed to be non mainstream, in this film, a hodgepodge of sub cultures and social backgrounds so that ALL BASES of teen anxiety are covered, it's hard to imagine anyone being that out of touch with the world they live in, and moreover, "Scott" is able to rationally convince the school bully to return their camera, that he stole, with this very irritating way of speaking.

The Directing/Scene Layout

The directing, combined with a very stagey unravelling of events is what I found amazing that so many other reviewers were able to overlook. The classroom scenes, with the protagonist goofing off with his camera were very badly handled. That just won't happen without the smart ass students as well as the teacher getting in your face about it, and most teachers would confiscate the camera, but no one says a word. Picture having a conversation on your telephone in a classroom. How ridiculous would that be? Also, Patrick's character, spying on everyone with his camera, looking up girl's dresses, masturbating in the girl's washroom, without being seen, heard, or getting in trouble, not to mention abducting a screaming 10 year old in a crowded supermarket, hauling her into the washroom where he rapes and kills her without being seen, heard or caught, is simply just not realistic.

Suicidal Motives

The real crux of the issue however is the suicidal motives of the characters and how they were handled. of the 4 characters who state their cases for WHY they plan to kill themselves: Scott: inner freedom. Sandy: testament to true love. Trudi: domestic discord. Patrick: homicidal urges? None of these are given much background or ANY aside from Trudi's case, though still not convincingly, who ridiculously enough, in all 6 of them is the only one who is shown to have typical problems of depression, the kind you see in most real life suicide cases. The characters, Rick and Cody, who we are given no inner insight into, are wasted, and seem very full of life rather than depression, Particularly Rick, who in this film represents typical quasi hip-hop culture, who doesn't seem to fit in with this group of people at all.

Closing Notes/Film Message

I will close by touching on one of the very last phrases spoken into a camera by the character "Scott" and showing truly how badly the people involved in the making of this film do NOT understand their subject. "Do you want to know the real truth? I did it because I was bored. The number one killer of teenagers today isn't drugs or alcohol... It's just plain boredom.... AND I WAS BORED!". Not only is it hilarious, but it's just plain not true. Any deaths to teenagers caused by boredom result from "Accidental" not "suicidal" deaths such as car crashes, skateboard injuries, auto-asphyxiation or the like. The impulse of suicide tends to come from ANYTHING but boredom, and instead, derives from feeling horrible and emotionally destroyed for whatever causal reasons. True, the character can say anything, and it doesn't matter if it's true or not, but by now, he's been reduced to a talking point with a face, not a character. I watched this horrible film because I was bored, luckily, it did not make me want to kill myself.


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