A creative and driven teenager is desperate to escape his hometown and the haunting memories of his turbulent childhood.

Director:

Stephen Dunn

Writers:

Stephen Dunn, Don McKellar (story editor)
10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Abrams ... Peter Madly
Jack Fulton ... Oscar Madly (9)
Joanne Kelly ... Brin Madly
Isabella Rossellini ... Buffy (voice)
Jinji Dawson Jinji Dawson ... Anna
Meghan Cullen Meghan Cullen ... Kathryn
Bradley Nippard Bradley Nippard ... Teenage Boy (as Brad Nippard)
Megan Kennedy Megan Kennedy ... News Reporter
Connor Jessup ... Oscar Madly (18)
Sofia Banzhaf ... Gemma
Sean Panting Sean Panting ... Constable Bennett
Megan Rose Jones Megan Rose Jones ... Ms. Mercer
Tim Myles Tim Myles ... Student (as Timothy Myles)
Mary Walsh ... Allison
Igor Pugdog Igor Pugdog ... Allison's Dog
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Storyline

8-years-old Oscar Madly became traumatized. Around the same time that his mother left their family (with Oscar firmly taking his dad's side), Oscar witnessed a gay hate crime at school that left the victim bloodied and permanently paralyzed. Ten years pass. Oscar, befriended by his talking hamster Buffy, wants to get into a special effects make-up school (using his friend Gemma as a model), and has come to realize his spiteful father's anti-social, immature short-comings. When Oscar meets co-worker Wilder at the hardware store, sexual feelings begin to stir but accompanied by severe stomach pains (the memory of the hate crime). A farewell costume party for Wilder brings Oscar's issues to a head, expressed sometimes in surreal terms. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Dunn's debut feature film. See more »

Quotes

Peter Madly: You can have anything you want in this world, just close your eyes.
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Connections

References Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Bassically
Written by Tei Shi (as Valeria Teicher)
Produced by Gianluca Buccellati and Tei Shi (as Valerie Teicher)
Performed by Tei Shi (as Tei Shi)
Courtesy of Mermaid Avenue
By arrangement with Terrorbird Media
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User Reviews

One of the best coming-of-age films you will ever see.
11 October 2016 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"I wasn't always this confident. Growing up as the awkward gay kid in a small town in Pennsylvania, you're constantly told, 'Don't be yourself, don't be proud of who you are.'" Carson Kressley

From fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) to Boyhood (2014), coming –of-age movies over the last 30 years or so have been richly diverse from fantasy to reality. Certainly, being oneself was top priority.

Closet Monster deftly bridges that variety, presenting the tale of queer Oscar (Jack Fulton as a boy, Connor Jessup as 18 years old), whose mom abandons him early in life and dad doesn't measure up in the sensitive category. This entertaining film is more like a bittersweet indie than a mainstream comedy and one of the best of its kind in years.

Along with some appropriate fantasy sequences and a talking hamster (voice of Isabella Rossellini), director/writer Stephen Dunn nonetheless gives us the feeling of reality. Oscar comes slowly to the realization that he's gay with a whole bunch of interest and concern our part. Jessup plays Oscar with such low-key humility and humanity that he makes us want to spend more than ninety minutes with him. I hope Jessup gets the acting recognition he deserves—he's that good.

So real seem Oscar's challenges, from coming on a murderous sex crime as a boy to kicking dad into the closet (nice touch) as a young man, that when we bid him goodbye at a living that will foster his artistic talents, we may well feel we have taken mom's place, or at least the hamster's, in watching him grow up.

The film is realistic but uncompromising as it allows him to be a boy outsider but also befriend an attractive girl, confide in a hamster, and confront his dad with a maturity that suits his perceptive, tough-minded persona. It's no coincidence that the tree house he occupies is a refuge from his dad's temper and a home for his eccentric companions, from the hamster to attractive male friend, Wilder (Aliocha Schneider), and therefore a home for his alternative life.

Even if you are uncertain you would like a gay-centered film, Closet Monster will make you see that a well, warmly-told story from any youth pv will be more exciting than any other mainstream romance you will have seen in a long time.


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 2016 (Taiwan) See more »

Also Known As:

Closet Monster See more »

Filming Locations:

St John's, Newfoundland, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,118, 25 September 2016

Gross USA:

$42,166

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,360
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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