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Mysterious Skin 18 rating

Gregg Araki's provocative story of two boys haunted by disturbing events one summer when they were eight years old, adapted from Scott Heim's cult indie novel.

Drama 2004 105 mins

Director: Gregg Araki



The summer of 1981 in a small town in Kansas; eight-year-old Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet) regains consciousness in the basement of his house, his nose bleeding, unable to recall the last five hours of his life. That same summer, the team's star player Neil McCormick (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), also eight years old, is seduced by the team's coach (Bill Sage). As the two boys grow into teenagers, their lives are haunted by their experiences of that time. Brian, desperate to find out what happened during his missing hours, becomes obsessed with alien abductions and recording his dreams. Neil becomes an in demand hustler, a beautiful outsider who even his best friend describes as having a 'bottomless black hole where his heart should be'. He heads for New York, just as Brian's search for answers leads him to Neil's door...

With work such as Totally F***ed Up and The Doom Generation, Gregg Araki has never been one to shy away from controversy, and, in adapting Scott Heim's novel, he delivered his most demanding, provocative and, indeed, his finest film to date.