Kaboom (2010) Poster

Kaboom (2010)

  • Rate: 5.8/10 total 4,710 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Mystery | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 6 October 2010 (France)
  • Runtime: France:86 min
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Kaboom (2010)


Kaboom 2010tt1523483.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Kaboom (2010)
  • Rate: 5.8/10 total 4,710 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Mystery | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 6 October 2010 (France)
  • Runtime: France:86 min
  • Filming Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Gross: $116,478(USA)(10 April 2011)
  • Director: Gregg Araki
  • Stars: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett and Chris Zylka
  • Original Music By: Robin Guthrie  Vivek Maddala  Mark Peters  Ulrich Schnauss   
  • Soundtrack: Paris (Ambient version)
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Roommate | Sexual Awakening | College | College Student | Student

Writing Credits By:

  • Gregg Araki (screenplay)

Known Trivia

  • Rooney Mara was considered for a role.
  • The first Gregg Araki film shot in 2.35:1 format.

Plot: A sci-fi story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students. Full summary » |  »

Story: Smith's everyday life in the dorm – hanging out with his arty, sarcastic best friend Stella, hooking up with a beautiful free spirit named London, lusting for his gorgeous but dim surfer roommate Thor – all gets turned upside-down after one fateful, terrifying night.Written by Toronto International Film Festival  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Gregg Araki known as producer
  • Pascal Caucheteux known as producer
  • Beau J. Genot known as associate producer
  • Pavlina Hatoupis known as co-producer
  • Pavlina Hatoupis known as line producer
  • Sebastien Lemercier known as executive producer (as Sebastien K. Lemercier)
  • Jonathan Schwartz known as executive producer
  • Andrea Sperling known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Thomas Dekker known as Smith
  • Haley Bennett known as Stella
  • Chris Zylka known as Thor
  • Roxane Mesquida known as Lorelei
  • Juno Temple known as London
  • Andy Fischer-Price known as Rex
  • Nicole LaLiberte known as Red-Haired Girl
  • Jason Olive known as Hunter
  • James Duval known as The Messiah
  • Brennan Mejia known as Oliver
  • Kelly Lynch known as Smith's Mom Nicole
  • Carlo Mendez known as Milo
  • Christine Nguyen known as Freshman Bimbo
  • Sean Bresnahan known as Surgeon (uncredited)
  • Brandy Futch known as Drug Fairy Nymph (uncredited)
  • Natalie Alyn Lind known as Cult Victim (uncredited)
  • Jen Mears known as Student (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Mark Andrews known as makeup artist
  • Molly Cranna known as assistant makeup artist
  • Roxxi Dott known as key hair stylist
  • Chelsea Hite known as assistant makeup artist
  • Lorraine Martin known as makeup department head
  • Miko Nishida known as assistant hair stylist
  • Natalie Vermiglio known as assistant makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Pj Aguilera known as builder/swing
  • Adam Bolt known as production illustrator
  • Jeremy Carpel known as leadman
  • Rocio Carrizales known as on-set dresser
  • Katie Crawford known as set dresser
  • Elizabeth Cummings known as assistant art director
  • Carl Fieler known as builder/swing
  • Austin Lovell known as construction coordinator
  • Alicia Marquez known as props
  • Ayaka Ohwaki known as on-set props
  • John Roberson known as set dresser
  • Rosie Sanders known as set dresser
  • Heath Satow known as sculptor




Production Companies:

  • Why Not Productions, (as Why Not U.S. Productions)
  • Desperate Pictures
  • Wild Bunch (in association with)
  • Super Crispy Entertainment (in association with)
  • Next World, The
  • Graveyard Machine (uncredited)

Other Companies:

  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Monkeyland Audio  post-production sound services
  • Monkeyland Audio  sound re-recording
  • Picture Head  post-production facilities
  • Sessions Payroll Management  extras payroll services


  • Atlantis Entertainment (2010) (Czechoslovakia) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2010) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Hopscotch Films (2011) (Australia) (theatrical)
  • IFC Films (2010) (USA) (theatrical)
  • Wild Bunch Distribution (2010) (France) (theatrical)
  • CN Entertainment (2011) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • Edition Salzgeber (2011) (Germany) (all media)
  • Lumière Home Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Mont-Blanc Distribution (2010) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Teleview International (2010) (Lebanon) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2011) (Portugal) (all media)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Wesley Cronk known as visual effects

Release Date:

  • France 15 May 2010 (Cannes Film Festival)
  • Germany 22 August 2010 (Berlin Fantasy Filmfest)
  • France 4 September 2010 (Deauville American Film Festival)
  • Canada 15 September 2010 (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • Finland 18 September 2010 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Greece 18 September 2010 (Athens Film Festival)
  • France 19 September 2010 (Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival)
  • Brazil 25 September 2010 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • France 6 October 2010
  • Turkey 9 October 2010 (Istanbul FilmEkimi Film Festival)
  • Poland 14 October 2010 (Warsaw Film Festival)
  • Belgium 21 October 2010 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • Poland 22 October 2010 (American Film Festival)
  • UK 27 October 2010 (London Film Festival)
  • UK 27 October 2010 (London Film Festival)
  • Sweden 20 November 2010 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • Italy 27 November 2010 (Turin Film Festival)
  • Norway 27 November 2010 (Oslo International Film Festival)
  • Belgium 8 December 2010
  • USA January 2011 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • USA 26 January 2011 (Video On Demand)
  • Finland 4 March 2011
  • Hong Kong 1 April 2011 (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
  • Canada 8 April 2011 (Toronto)
  • Canada 16 April 2011 (Calgary Underground Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 28 April 2011
  • Portugal 19 May 2011
  • UK 10 June 2011
  • Germany 16 June 2011
  • Italy 16 June 2011 (Biografilm Festival)
  • Japan 10 October 2011 (Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. phil neumann from Washington, DC
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    I needed to leave a review since the only one up so far was a supernegative gay-bashing.

    Kaboom is the best Gregg Araki movie I have seen to date. Smiley Facewas charming, and Mysterious Skins was just perverted (Mino fromRomania should watch that one, he'd love it). It is super stylized inthe coolest way, and the presentation is very clean. This movie justhas a glossy feel to it that is very impressive. Aside from the colorand glitter, the story is very engaging and holds on to you. It is afunny movie, there are scenes that will make you laugh, and some scenesthat will give you goosebumps. It is also very eerie at times, thestylistic devices implemented to be chilling are indeed so, and attimes it is chilling in a sort of deeper X-Filesy kind of way.Unfortunately, my criticism is that the conclusion of the film is allrushed exposition and not very rewarding at that after the fantasticbuild up beforehand.

    The film deals with sexuality in a very lighthearted way. I findAraki's treatment of sexual taboo's to be refreshing and comical. Notfor the ultra-conservative or homophobic crowd.

  2. thefonz750 from Houston, Tx
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    The first half is fairly coherent. About a boy struggling with hisidentity. Meets a girl. He's in love with his straight, male roommate.His best friend is a girl in a relationship with another woman. Justyour regular college days. By this time, the movie has taken itselfpretty seriously.

    Somewhere around two-thirds through, the film takes some very strangetwists. One of the girls becomes a secret-agent out of nowhere. Moretwists and tie-ins ensue and blam! One of thoseyou-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of things.

    Good movie with some genuine moments that undergoes a strangetransformation into ridiculousness and the paranormal. If you likefilms such as Donnie Darko and Southland Tales, then you will probablyenjoy this one. Worth the watch, if only once.

  3. eventpix from florida
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    Since other reviewers of Kaboom have mentioned Donnie Darko andSouthland Tales, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Polanski, Hitchcock, andCraven I might point out that the character, Smith is introduced asfilm student who is actually studying "Un Chien Andalou" by thosenaughty twenty-somethings Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Our wikifriends inform us that "The film has no plot in the conventional senseof the word. The chronology of the film is disjointed….. It usesdream logic in narrative flow that can be described in terms ofthen-popular Freudian free association, presenting a series oftenuously related scenes." Sound familiar? Chien was essentially astudent film but one might say that it has had some staying power.

    I liked Kaboom but it was certainly a bit silly, especially toward theend. About as silly as a lobster telephone. And if characters werecontinually waking out of dreams (and being interrupted during"spanking" sessions), perhaps that was a hint to the viewer about wherethe film was coming from…..

  4. melvelvit-1 from NYC suburbs
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    Gregg Araki's breakthrough film, 1992's THE LIVING END, was a gayTHELMA & LOUISE in the age of AIDS, very cutting edge, and I thoughthe'd go much further than he did but, then again, big things were alsopredicted for John Dahl (RED ROCK WEST, THE LAST SEDUCTION) at thetime. Oh, well. Anyway, Araki's been on the indie scene ever since andKABOOM takes his "apocalyptic teen angst" series (TOTALLY F***ED UP,THE DOOM GENERATION, NOWHERE, MYSTERIOUS SKIN) on a psychedelic rollercoaster ride to a trippy -and inevitable- eve of destruction. It's astylish (with vivid colors you can eat with a spoon), funny, sexy,college-set CLUELESS-on-acid that morphs into a cross between SergioMartino's ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK and THE WIZARD OF OZ after ahorny, existentialistic film student begins to realize he may be at thecenter of a global conspiracy with cataclysmic consequences. Fairlyindescribable, free-wheeling sci-fi fun that'll leave you with a WTF?feeling. I liked it.

  5. Travis Keune from St. Louis, MO, USA
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm
  6. Movie Geek from London, UK
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    After the complex, challenging, touching and definitely mature"Mysterious Skin" (2004) I was really looking forwards to Araki's newfilm (And let's just pretend that the 2007 Smiley Face doesn't evenexist). The trailer makes Kaboom look quirky, subversive and somewhatcrazy in a fresh and fun sort of way…. Once again, a misleadingtrailer! Unfortunately the film itself has really none of that offer,as if Araki, instead of growing up, had been regressing to a filmstudent again, because, that's what this film feels like: a polishedand yet pointless student film! And believe me, I've seen many of thosein my life! Thomas Dekker is quite likable and he's probably the bestthing in the film and yet he's struggling with a story that has nobeginning and no end (literally no end!)… and actually, come to thinkof it, no middle either! The film tries to be anarchic, dark, sexy,funny, rude, aping films like Donnie Darko and even The Rules ofAttraction (which was a pretty faulty film anyway). In the end it isjust too chaotic and definitely too silly to be taken seriously or toeven recommend. There are very few original ideas and the littleexcitement in there is only given by the music and the editing, butcertainly not by the story. Even the few good lines of dialogue in thescript remain too isolated and detached be noticed, let aloneremembered and they get lost in the ludicrous plot. What is real? Isthere a conspiracy? Who are those people dressed like animals? Does anyof this really matter? And actually, do we give a toss? In the end it'svery hard to care about who does what and why, so basically you'll justend up waiting to see who's going to have sex with whom, (basicallyeveryone seems bed down with just about everyone else in this moviedespite their gender differences) and yet, none of the sex never hasanything to do with the story. It is completely incidental and purelyexploitive. But even if you take it as a sexy film , beyond its averagestraight/gay/bi soft-core porn clichés, it is all quite unremarkableand gets nowhere close to push any boundary and it thinks it does. Infact it all gets rather repetitive (I lost the count of how many timessome character wakes up all of a sudden from some bad dream). This filmmight have been the director's wet dream, but none of that excitementshows up in the final product. I'll give Araki one last chance thenI'll begin to think that "Mysterious Skin" was just a lucky mistake inan otherwise disastrous filmography MoviegeekBlog.wordpress.com

  7. johannes2000-1 from Netherlands
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    I enjoyed this movie for the most part. It's different and stylish andrefreshing, and the combination of deadpan comedy with bizarrethriller- and horror elements totally worked for me. Sure, there's lotsof sex in it, and yes, it's mostly gay-oriented sex (male and female).So what?!! We are already for ages blown-over by an abundance ofstraight sex in almost every movie, getting more graphic by the year(think of the American Pie series), and you never hear anyone complain.I for one (but I admit that I preach for my own parish) am glad thatmore and more film-makers "come-out" with movies where gay sex ispresented not as a heavy issue (like coming-out, gay bashing, AIDS,etcetera), but just as casual and as easy-going as any heterosexualcounterpart.

    Anyway, this movie also has other things to praise. The photography isgreat, the colours seem like over-saturated, giving everything a veryintense and almost surreal aura, which is exactly what it's supposed tohave. As a viewer you're forever wondering if what we see is meant tobe real, or something in the mind and dreams of the main characterSmith. Some of the comments here on IMDb complained of the lack of anycoherent plot and of the illogical and totally unrealistic goings-on.They are right of course, but what they overlook is that this is thewhole point of it! Come on, give it a break, anyone with an open mindcan see that the makers didn't try to create a serious thriller or somegay coming-of-age vehicle, it's all so evidently tongue-in-cheek! Whymust every movie that's off-mainstream have a Deep Meaning or a LastingMessage? Can't we just enjoy the ride?

    Thomas Dekker is great as the intelligent and very cute, but slightlyneurotic gay student, who gradually gets the feeling of being in thecenter of some mind-boggling conspiracy, while in the meantime he'sstill trying to build-up a satisfying sex-life. His best friend Stellais played by Haley Bennett and she's even better than Dekker: she'sbeautiful and sexy and I absolutely loved her ad-libbing comedy-skills!Juno Temple is adorable in every way (with and without clothes) andChris Zylka as the buff but goofy room-mate Thor is mainly there forshowing ample male skin.

    The only thing that I didn't like was the ending: all this building upof tension to what I should have liked to be a grand finale (I mean:with a title like "Kaboom!" you DO create expectations!), and then itended with this terrible puff, as if the writers were over-wrought withtheir own crazy ideas and just let go. It surely deserved better.

    For the rest: a fine and entertaining, funny, well acted, fast pacedand beautifully visualized movie.

  8. Arcadio Bolanos from Peru
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    Gregg Araki's films share a special signature. As a filmmaker, hisinterest towards certain themes are aptly exploited in different andpeculiar ways. In "Mysterious Skin" we witness the alien abductionfantasy embraced by one of the protagonists, in "Nowhere" an alieninvasion serves both as a metaphor and as in incursion into the real.In Kaboom, Araki plays again with that which surpasses normal humanity,redefining it in the process.

    We find ourselves immersed in a story about college, young men andwomen, mysterious murders, secret societies and conspiracy theoriesthat, somehow, mingle together with a surreal sensitivity. The firstscene takes us to Smith's mind, an 18-year-old student… or, moreexactly, to a dream he has been having frequently. After that he startsmasturbating while fantasizing with his roommate Thor, a blonde surferwith perfect abs. Smith, however, doesn't want to be labeled… heconsiders himself neither gay nor bisexual. He has indeed sexualencounters with boys and girls, but his best friend Stella is convincedthat he leans more towards guys. Stella is a lesbian that findsconflict in a risky relationship with a girl that has, to put itmildly, supernatural abilities.

    At the same time, Smith finds out that a girl from college, one thatappears in his dreams, has been murdered by men in black disguised withanimal masks. Except he cannot be sure if he's imagining things becauseof the hallucinogen drugs he takes or simply because he's becomingparanoid and losing his mind in the process. It's college and there aredrugs and alcohol everywhere; here actually one of Araki's favoriteactors, James Duval, interprets the typical school "stoner", who prettymuch sums up Stella's assertion: "college is just an intermissionbetween high school and the rest of your life. Four years of havingsex, making stupid mistakes and experiencing stuff".

    When Stella has sex with her girlfriend there is a special luminositythat announces a supernatural element… and when Smith agrees to engagein sexual intercourse with a lighthearted girl named London he alsoexperiences a weird luminescence which he attributes to drugs. In thesame way he cannot define himself as homosexual or bisexual, he is alsoconstantly escaping out of normal consciousness, which is made clearwith the dream at the beginning of the film. Psychoanalyst JacquesLacan would correlate the privileged mode in which we capture our ownselves through narcissistic investment with the type of knowledge basedon the 'illusion of consciousness' in which it is implied that theentire reality could become accessible to the mind, turned inside-out,and as a result, it could be illuminated and made transparent. Kaboomdeals closely with this illusion of consciousness; it explores themindset of Smith taking him constantly to different extremes ofrealities.

    This illusion, however, is insufficient if Smith is to find his placein the world, and he experiences its limitation when he confronts thephenomenon of the strange -with all its connotations, the stranger, thealien, the unfamiliar- here exemplified by the animal mask men thatstart chasing him; it doesn't matter if they are after him or if he'sonly imagining it, but the important thing is that he experiences fear(and thanks to the director's skills, we also experience the suspenseof the persecutions); this seriously puts into question the verypossibility of auto-transparency or auto-knowledge for Smith.

    Perhaps this is all linked with Smith's lack of a parental figure, asLacanian theory would tell us it is the nom de pere or name of thefather that inscribes the subject into the symbolic order. Smith has aloving mother, but he has never met his father who was convenientlyreported dead in a car accident just before he was born. Without thename of the father, without the castration which takes place when thefather removes any possibility of the mother having the phallus, it'sclear that the individual, in this case Smith, would always be out ofplace or at least displaced from society. In a world ruled byheterosexual normativity, Smith has no clear space or location, and inthe same way sexuality means for him to wander around aimlessly, healso starts slipping into an uncomfortable fissure that brings forthelements of reality and also from his personal oneiric world.

    I think no other director could have pulled this off. Kaboom succeedsin forcing us, the viewers, to reevaluate what we think, to defyestablished knowledge. When Smith finds out the truth behind themurders and the truth behind his father's death, he will no longer beable to see the world as he used to. But then again doesn't the samething happen to us, as we grow up?

  9. Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    This chronicles the life of college student Smith (Thomas Dekker). He'sbisexual, is about to turn 19 and is having these trippy strange dreamswhich seem to work their way into his life. There's gay sex, lesbiansex, witchcraft, men in animal masks, murder and some secretorganization. During the last 30 minutes the movie manages to pulleverything together and throw a science-fiction angle in it!

    It sounds strange and it is…but I couldn't stop watching. I shouldadmit I'm a fan of director Gregg Araki. He's not afraid to takechances and push buttons and doesn't tone things done for an R rating(this was unrated). It was also his first film shot in wide screen andthe colors and cinematography are bright and vivid. Also he doesn'ttone down the gay sex like most Hollywood movies do. There's plenty ofhunky guys kissing other guys, simulated sex and male nudity. Theacting varies but Dekker is great in the main role. He has a prettytricky role but pulls it off. If you're looking for something differentwith plenty of sex this is it. I think this is a rare movie that wouldgrow with repeated viewings. I'm definitely getting the DVD of this!

  10. Brent Trafton from Long Beach, CA
    29 Mar 2012, 7:58 pm

    I have not been a big fan of Gregg Araki's films in the past but"Kaboom" is easily my favorite and it is his funniest.

    Obviously this is not a film for everyone. It is kind of a crossbetween "Scott Pilgrim versus the World" and "Donnie Darko" but"Kaboom" places more emphasis on comedy than narrative. From readingthe other reviews on IMDb, a lot of people did not get the jokes. I waslaughing throughout the entire movie. If you are offended by sexualcontent, this movie is not for you.

    This is one of the best ensemble casts I've seen in a while. Most ofthem are new to me. I predict Juno Temple is on her way to becoming astar.

    While "Kaboom" is definitely not for everyone, if you are willing totake a chance on an end-of-the-world sex comedy, you should give it atry.

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