• Darby VanDeVeen

‘Downfalls High’ gives unneeded insight into Machine Gun Kelly’s latest release

“The interesting concept wasn’t enough to make up for all that the film lacks.”

As a companion to his punk-pop album, Tickets to My Downfall, Machine Gun Kelly and Mod Sun created “Downfalls High,” a musical experience akin to an elongated music video. Featuring every song from the standard version of the album (aside from “kevin and barracuda (interlude),” Baker and Travis Barker perform alongside a plot starring a stereotypical emo-boy and a popular, rich girl who fall in love.

Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy from Tik Tok) and Sydney Sweeney star in the movie as Fenix and Scarlett, two opposite forces that come together after a game of spin the bottle (played with a knife, of course). They share cute moments together and start to grow comfortable in their relationship until Scarlett has a pregnancy scare. Before getting the chance to tell Fenix, she gets into a car accident and dies, leading into the second half of the film and the album.

As a concept, I thought that this was a cool idea and something I’d like to see for more albums (*cough* folklore love triangle *cough*). In execution, I found myself underwhelmed with the lack of plot, acting prowess, and overall aesthetic. While it was meant to showcase the punk aspect of the album, MGK and Mod Sun took this to the extreme with the finale including Fenix cutting off his own ear at graduation is a twisted tribute to Scarlett and his unborn child, and getting sent to a mental institution.

At only 49 minutes, the largest portion of the movie focused on the live performances by the duo of Baker and Barker, with guest performers Trippie Redd, blackbear, and iann dior. Halsey was noticeably absent from the performance of “forget me too,” one of the best songs on the album. Even though the album wasn’t written with this movie in mind, I thought it was amazing how they could devise a plot that fit the songs in the same order they appear on the record. The characters needed more development and I wouldn’t have minded watching a longer film for a better quality result. Overall, the interesting concept wasn’t enough to make up for all that the film lacks.


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