Straight Through Crew Image

Straight Through Crew

By Terry Sherwood | June 25, 2024

Those salad days of youth with the nights of partying, freedom, and new chapters in life complicated by love, hate, drugs, sex, and booze are captured in writer-director David Campion’s Straight Through Crew. Most titles like this, such as American Graffiti, Trainspotting, and the brilliant Quadrophenia, tell a motherlode of conflict for a story. Those pictures are large stories against major social upheaval; however, what is compelling here is that it is a small yet effective skirmish into lives that often get neglected.

In a small town nestled in the United Kingdom, a giant Christmas Eve rave is about to take place. The film opens with Aden (Charles Craddock) rather bunged up in a bathtub after a pre-Christmas eve numbing experience with friends. He seems like a decent, if not messed up, guy. His pseudo-girlfriend Fran (Georgia Macleod) amusingly chastises Aden for his antics the night before while getting ready for work. After copping a cigarette from a passed-out body in the living room, the short-haired and thin-bodied youth stumbles out into the world.

Jamie (Jessica Pearce, looking like a young Jessica Harper from Suspiria) arrives back in town from London. She gets back together with friends Deanna (Conchita Mbuyambo) and Lisane (Laura Hall). The three of them decide to go to the local rave. This is also where Aden and his two mates, Richie (Jason Rosato) and Jingle (James Douglas-Quarcoopome), are heading. Once they all spot each other there, things get a little awkward, as Jamie and Aden were a couple in the past.

“…a giant Christmas Eve rave is about to take place.”

Loads of plausible confrontations, romance, self-reflection, and plenty of pill-popping, snorting, alcohol, and dancing fill the screen. The strongest aspect of Straight Through Crew is not the content of what is said but the way that it is delivered. The words and the actors all work, particularly the tentative smooching moments outside with Jamie and Aden. They are trying to “gather their wits and hold on fast” as hours of beer, pills, trance-like dancing, and flashing lights have taken their toll on perception. The first meeting is a lovely scene that is well shot, with the right amount of dark, cold breath visible and great tentative lust that suddenly changes in a moment.

A subplot involving Lisane’s possible lesbian relationship with Stephanie (Ella Dunlop) adds dimension to the world. A high Jingle (James Douglas-Quarcoopome) in a telling argument with an older woman to whom he loses a game of pool and now owns a brandy is an amusing aside.

As Straight Through Crew is set at a rave, it stands to reason that the soundtrack would be a big selling point. There’s a great deal of electronic music, with some house mixing during the dance scenes and some thrash metal music tossed in here and there. It all fits the mood nicely, with the drops coming at the exact right moment. Throw on this music and just go with the flow.

Straight Through Crew is almost an anti-Christmas film, as the hedonism on display is not how most celebrate that time of year. However, such rituals only strengthen the bond of those performing them. Yes, the day-to-day reality with your friends will change, and that uncertainty can be taxing. However, you grew up with them; they are family, your crew, and existing in the moment is more important than what tomorrow brings. Overall, this is a well-made little drama about friends who are going out of their heads.

Straight Through Crew (2024)

Directed and Written: David Campion

Starring: Charles Craddock, Jessica Pearce, Conchita Mbuyambo, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Straight Through Crew Image

"…almost an anti-Christmas film..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon