Hey, everybody! I just got back from CONvergence, a local sci-fi con that we've made it a habit of going to the last few years. It was a nice experience--among other things, I bumped into an old friend I haven't seen for over a decade--and one of the coolest things was getting a chance to see Emily Hagins' new film, 'My Sucky Teen Romance'.
You might not have heard of Emily Hagins--I hadn't--but she's a film-maker from Austin, Texas who has made a couple of feature films prior to MSTR, 'Pathogen' and 'The Retelling'. This film, her third, focuses on a group of teens going to a local sci-fi con (clearly inspired by and shot at CONvergence) who run afoul of a vampire...one who's exploiting his resemblance to Robert Pattinson and the current 'Twilight' craze to get his fill of teenage blood. It's got quite a few sharp, clever lines, makes use of the con setting well to make it look like they spent a lot more money on it than they did, and is generally fun and witty.
Oh, and by the way, Emily Hagins is just now turning eighteen. Just in case you weren't impressed yet.
All eighteenage aside, this is a very good film. It's low-budget and that does sometimes show (but not as often as you might think), and the use of authentic teenagers as actors means there's some stiffness now and again (but in a film that's very much about teen awkwardness and romance between shy and introverted people, that's not always a drawback) and it does briefly get a little talky towards the end of the second act...but frankly, this is not a film you need to grade on a curve to say nice things about. There are a lot of people who are making movies on much bigger budgets with much more polished actors who have turned out a much less watchable product than 'My Sucky Teen Romance'. Put this in a room with 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', and you'd be muting Optimus Prime after about five minutes.
I don't know where this film will go from here, theatrically or on DVD, but I'm definitely going to find out. There are a few fourteen year olds I know who would love to see it.