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Those who have seen it are rather split about it—some say it’s a fresh, compelling take on bullying while others either call it either a self-praising “meta-mockumentary” or an irresponsible look at a risky topic that shouldn’t be touched upon.
Even when Owen acknowledges what he’s doing is insane, Matt can’t bring himself back to reality and instead wants to further his own interpretation of reality and continue making his movie.Some people complain that the film ends anticlimactically with no clear reasoning or logic.It ends with Matt, after having shot The Dirties in the school hallway and scared away his classmates, finding Owen cowering in a corner. It’s me.” The scene cuts to black, the end credits roll, and that’s the end.So, in a way, it’s Owen, Matt’s best and only friend, who actually drives Matt to do what he ends up doing in the end of the film.As Owen fears for his own life when he sees what Matt has become, Matt doesn’t understand what’s changed and why he can’t see him for what he is, hence the line, “What are you doing? We know what’s really going on, but no one else does.He buys wireless microphones to use and has someone film him and his best (and only) friend, Owen (Owen Williams), presumably all the time.
The movie he wants to make is a wish-fulfillment fantasy in which he and Owen exact revenge on a gang of bullies in their high school, whom they dub The Dirties.
Owen, meanwhile, would rather try something else than keep making a movie with Matt.
He wants acceptance among his peers, which is something Matt clearly quit trying to achieve.
When looking for someone or something to blame for school shootings, media and society sometimes like to point the finger at violence portrayed in TV and movies, suggesting that watching it can make someone want to commit destruction.
But this film shows how that’s actually never the case.
What it tries to address is the issue of youth psychology and how it’s never always how we interpret it.