The Privilege 2022 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Finn survived a hell of a thing when he was a kid: His teenage sister went crazy and tried to take him with her when she hurled herself off a bridge. Several years go by, and Finn (Max Schimmelpfennig) is a high-schooler dealing with the psychological fallout of the incident. He undergoes a bunch of medical stress tests and the like, and the doc tells him that the trauma damaged his brain, so here, take this medication. Maybe all this is why he’s kind of quiet and brooding, an outcast at school. But he has a bestie, Lena (Lea van Acken), and that cute girl Samira (Tijan Marei) over there can’t stop smiling at him, flipping her hair in slow motion, like, hello there, Vidal SassOON.
Finn only has six months until graduation, and we know this because Lena says to him, “Can you believe we only have six months until graduation?”, which is a dumb thing to say, because of course he knows there’s only six months until graduation, but I guess WE didn’t know there’s only six months until graduation. Cut to biology class, where Finn and Lena listen to a lecture about that crazy fungus that takes over ants’ brains and grows out the tops of their heads and turns them into zombies, which surely has no bearing on the movie plot, none whatsoever I bet, so let’s just keep watching and only remember this scene if we need to later on, OK?
Anyway. Samira might not be interested if she knew about Finn’s litany of issues. He suffers from crazy hallucinations. He sleepwalks. He draws creepy things in his notebook. And his parents are grossly rich, with one of those modern homes with a high-tech security system and floor-to-ceiling windows and so many sharp 90-degree angles, you need elbow pads to minimize injury while merely existing in the space. Things start getting extra-weird when Finn wakes up in the middle of the night and witnesses a bizarre ritual involving his twin sister Sophie (Milena Tscharntke) and his parents, but that must’ve just been a nutty dream, right? For sure. Then Sophie’s boyfriend turns up dead in a car wash; Finn visits his ailing grandfather in the hospital which would be a sweet scene if it wasn’t for the ominous music telling us it ain’t; he keeps seeing some kind of ethereal growling demon-specter; and isn’t it about time Finn and Lena consult a psychic medium-slash-weed dealer? It is. Indeed it is. Because something’s going on here, but I ain’t saying what, partially because it doesn’t make much sense.
Some advice: Don’t take The Privilege seriously, even though it encourages you to do so, mostly, I think. It’s hard to tell, because at first blush, the film seems to be a horror-tinged drama about a teen dealing with significant psychotrauma. But then it becomes many things, too many things. It’s a laughable goulash of crudely stapled-together scenes that shift tones, from kissy-teen romance to what’s-out-there-BOO! ghost story to mystery yarn to don’t-trust-what-they’re-feeding-you teens-vs.-adults conspiracy to social commentary. And none of it is remotely functional. Or comprehensible. Or rewarding on any level, for that matter.
This is the kind of movie that doesn’t have plot holes, it has PLOT HOLES. It’s so chock-full of hammer-on-anvil musical cues and relentlessly sound effects, one theorizes that the score composer and sound designer were participating in a bloodsport competition to see who could be the most OTT. The big climax is laden with extraneous special effects. There’s a scene in which a character asks, “Why would you strangle yourself with a cable tie?” and a homicide detective replies, “Drugs,” and the movie has the audacity to seem to apparently suggest that we take the exchange seriously, which is kind of funny. The primary plot arc is so moronic and desultory, so it’s hard to summarize, but it has something to do with gaslighting teens. I think the movie is trying to gaslight us into thinking it’s watchable.