Film Reviews

Cusp (2021)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Last year’s Sundance saw the premiere of Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hills Cusp.

Deep in the heart of Texas in a military town, it follows 3 teenage girls on the brink of adulthood during one of their last Summers as kids.

You get the whole teenage girl experience wrapped into this feature length documentary. Teenage reality TV is usually formatted as a series so it’s interesting to see this as a stand alone feature.

We see the highs, lows and every little thing in between of their purely American lifestyle. Foul language, gun play, partying, illegal drinking, the intimacies of their lives, as well as the darker sides of adolescence—rape, depression, domestic violence, substance issues. The lines between childhood and adulthood seem to melt away in the Texas heat and blurs into the long warm nights. You really feel for these girls because this is the experience of young women all over the country. 

The way Bethencourt and Hill are able to blend in with the surroundings is sneaky good. The kids just go on with their business as usual. It’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s a personal glimpse into the life of an American teenager. It can be a dark twisted fantasy and Cusp feels exactly like it.

If you’re a fan of the teenage reality television concept and want to scratch that guilty pleasure itch, Cusp might be for you. Check it out on Showtime.

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