For those who like their teen movies dark, we suggest skipping that 87th viewing of Heathers and digging into the decadent world of Gregg Araki. Araki got his start making tiny-budget movies about the young, beautiful, and fucked up in the late ’80s. By the mid-’90s, he was a full-fledged cult figure, drawing such famous young actors as Rose McGowan, Ryan Phillippe, Shannen Doherty, and Parker Posey into his “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy” — three candy-colored films about nihilistic, debauched teenagers at the end of the world. In 2004, Araki dipped his toes into the world of respectable indie filmmaking with Mysterious Skin, an excellent, psychologically realistic movie about two young men who were sexually abused by a coach as children. This year found Araki returning to form with Kaboom, his best teen-apocalypse movie (that doubles as a horror flick) yet.
Suggested viewing: Totally Fucked Up, The Doom Generation, Nowhere, Mysterious Skin, Smiley Face, Kaboom