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On the surface, Adam (Alexei Ryan) is the most normal of teenagers,
with the most trivial of lifestyles and problems: He likes to hang out on
the porch with his friends (Christopher Chandler, JD Fairman) and drink
booze and smoke weed, hw loves to discuss slasher movies, and he's
hopelessly in love with Cindy (Kimberly Knight), who's into wannabe rapper
Derron (Phillip Andrew Christopher) though, so Adam has to ask slightly
dull Wendy (Emily Bordignon) to be his prom date. To make matters worse,
Derron likes to bully Adam before Cindy's very eyes.
But there's another
side to Adam, because at night, he's a porcelaine-masked serialkiller, who actually
focuses on people he knows, like annoying classmates and their families
... and yes, even Cindy and Derron, when he catches them having sex.
does he do it?
He saw his dad, who was his hero, die a long and painful
death, and his dad fed him with gore-movies and an unhealthy philosophy
based on pain and suffering to go with it. Since dad's death, Adam needed
something to compensate, and heck, why not slaughter a few people?
Adam's long lost brother Joe (Cory Jacob) comes back home to live with him
and mom (Lisa Frantz) - much to Adam's dismay, since he thinks Joe has
abandoned the family prior to dad's death (he was in rehab, actually). The
atmosphere is tense, and erupts when Joe finds Adam's diary in which he
has detailed his murders. When Joe and mom confront Adam with this, he
pulls a knife and ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
director James Cullen Bressack was a mere 18 years old when he directed My
Pure Joy, this is a pretty impressive film, it's well-structured and
thought-through, doesn't follow the usual slasher formula (without
betraying the genre), features quite gruesome murder scenes and a rather
bizarre killer, and it stays well within its (low) budget and doesn't try
and fail to achieve anything outside of budgetary limitations (the bane of
many an indie movie).
And yet, My Pure Joy is not a masterpiece,
more a diamond in the rough, basically because at times the young
filmmaker's unchanneled enthusiasm about making his first feature film
does shine through (like in the many scenes where Adam discusses horror
movies with his friends), and scriptwise, the whole thing could have done
with some tightening - all shortcomings Bressack has learned to circumvent
in later efforts.
But even if My Pure Joy is not exactly a
masterpiece, it's still good genre entertainment, and (excuse the pun)
pure joy while watching ...