Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Lillard star in writer/director Craig Singer's violent tale of rehabilitation gone horribly awry. When high school student Arnold Mosk (Neil Patrick Harris) is busted for using drugs, he's immediately placed in an experimental isolation program known as "The Animal Room." "The Animal Room" is a rehabilitation center where the rules of normal society don't apply, a kind-of lawless clubhouse inhabited by the most dangerous and disturbed youth imaginable. When Arnold shows up in "The Animal Room," sadistic gang leader Doug Van Housen (Lillard) immediately targets the frightened newcomer for torment. Doug is the kind of kid who's just too far gone to care what society thinks of him, and he places precious little value on human life. Should Arnold remain in "The Animal Room" he will almost certainly die. Now, it's up to Arnold's childhood friend Gary - a popular student and talented athlete - to break his old pal out of the controversial treatment program before the situation turns deadly. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
I was a bit taken aback by all the negative reviews of this movie. Yes it is violent, and yes it is dark, but then so was "A Clockwork Orange" which was so wildly popluar when it came out. I enjoyed seeing familiar faces. Neil Patrick Harris is no Doogie Houser in this. He is really quite good as a disturbed, angry young man (his alcoholic mother is well played by Catherine Hicks) who finds himself the object of escalating harrassment from a sadistic bully, played by the always entertaining (and as he was in "Scream", sinister and menacing with just the right amount of dark humor) Matthew Lillard. As the violence increases so do the tragic consequences. It's certainly not a "feel good" movie, but is, in my opinion, well worth watching.
I am not sure why I rented this DVD, someone told me to I think. I wish I could remeber who so I NEVER listen to them again. It was dull and draining. So many people in it that went on to bigger things makes you think they would try to bury this sorry work. The script is dry and still, takes you nowhere slowly. The production itself is so poor that certain scenes seem to have the audio of a hidden camera show, hollow and bouncing. Do not rent this film. If you need to experience teenage troubles watch "A Clockwork Orange", "Christiane F.", "The Rivers Edge", there are plenty.