Three juvenile delinquents arrive at a correctional center, learning how to live a new type of life.
Scum goes stateside in this po-faced prison drama, which aims to stick the shiv into juvie justice but quickly bleeds out. We follow three new inmates at the (fictional) Enola Vale detention centre, as they face the fears and friction of life inside. It is not exactly, shock of shocks, a cakewalk. Soon the bullying and beatings begin, but newbie inmate Butch — yes, the rough, tough, psycho antihero is called Butch — isn’t going to take this shit lying down. Adam Butcher is good — all mad-eyed intensity — and there’s no doubting the sincerity of the picture, which was apparently based on extensive research. But for all its authenticity it’s rarely dramatic — there’s no propulsive story, just a series of grubby incidents and a worn, familiar message. Not the daddy.
Visceral and inquisitive, this well researched movie offers a punchy insight to prison life. Unfortunately, it is a familiar and tepid storyline.
Reviewed by Nev Pierce