Threat Matt Pizzolo

Threat is sort of a diamond in the rough, but it's so rough you can barely see the gem underneath. Made by a crew of teens and 20somethings, it deals with issues of homelessness and cultural abandonment. Centring on the friendship between white street kid Jim (Carlos Puga) and black hip-hop artist Fred (Keith Middleton), Threat explores the no-man's-land of people so disaffected that they have no basis for operating in society. Plenty of talk ensues around conspiracy theories and general hate for the system, but while much of it is provocative it's also too haphazard to make much of an impact. There's no denying that the filmmakers have more rage than comprehension, and so the film comes off as just more rage, fighting against an enemy that never seems to leave the shadows. Of course, you could argue that that's what life on the fringes is all about, and indeed the film is a welcome corrective to the voyeuristic self-righteousness of someone like Larry Clark. But while the film is sometimes honest enough to acknowledge that it doesn't know what exactly to do, the vengeful tag ending makes almost no sense in context. Everything — from the script to the direction to the general ideas — is of the "throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" variety, and while it occasionally scores a knockout, it more often than not dribbles off into confusion and incoherence. Threat is not exactly a movie to dismiss out of hand, but also not the underground masterpiece for which its creators were gunning. Extras include two soundtrack remixes by Alec Empire and Enduser, a series of fundraising promos, some "behind the scenes" footage that's mostly bloopers, slates and auditions, and 11 deleted scenes. (King's Mob/Halo Eight)