Every generation has films that define them. Over the past few years, we have been getting films about Gen Z that are a commentary on the generation’s culture or are stories about our experiences.
In 2022 alone, there have been 5 films released focused on Gen Z culture: Senior Year, Bodies Bodies Bodies, Not Okay, The Fallout and Do Revenge.
Here are my ranking of these films and whether or not I recommend you to watch them.
1. Do Revenge : Recommend 👌
Streaming on Netflix
Synopsis: A dethroned queen bee at a posh private high school, Drea, strikes a secret deal with an unassuming new student, Eleanor, to enact revenge on one another’s enemies
Do Revenge is a dark revenge teen comedy that strongly defines Gen Z while also paying homage to previous generations. It features an all-star cast of Gen Z royalty, including Maya Hawke, Camila Mendes, Austin Abrams, Rish Shah, Talia Ryder, and Alisha Boe.
This film is very much a product of Gen Z culture, with its vibrant colors, depiction of queerness, use of social media, portrayal of fake allyship and misogyny in our generation, and the outfits and soundtrack, which include a song by the Gen Z-defining artist Olivia Rodrigo. “Do Revenge” tells the story of two women trying to move on with their lives after a traumatic event, all while exploring what it means to be a woman in Gen Z. The film also has a shocking twist that will surprise you. If you enjoy films like “10 Things I Hate About You,” “Heathers,” “Clueless,” “Jennifer’s Body,” and “Jawbreakers,” “Do Revenge” is definitely worth your time.
2. The Fallout – Reccomend 👌
Streaming on HBO Max
Synopsis: In the wake of a school shooting, Vada, Mia and Quinton form a unique and dynamic bond as they navigate the never linear, often confusing journey to heal in a world that feels forever changed.
“Fallout” is the most raw and emotional Gen Z film in my opinion. School shootings are an unfortunate event that many in Gen Z experience and fundamentally change them forever. This film captures all those emotions in this heartbreaking tale.
The Fallout captures this in a very subtle manner and takes you on an emotionally tumultuous journey with our characters . It is not an easy watch but one I highly recommend if you have the emotional capacity for it.
3. Not Okay : Recommend – if you can stand the main character 🤔
Streaming on Hulu
Synopsis: A misguided young woman who is desperate for friends and fame fakes a trip to Paris to upgrade her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world, which becomes a part of the imaginary trip and offers all she wants.
Not Okay is a satirical Gen Z comedy that explores the toxic relationship with social media, social media activism, and the illusion of being an influencer, all of which are significant parts of the Gen Z experience.
While millennials also experience these elements, most of Gen Z has grown up with social media, influencer culture, and the larger internet from day one, which has shaped our values as a generation. “Not Okay” is a brightly-colored, trendy, cringe-worthy comedy about being an influencer through the eyes of the main character, Danni Sanders.
Danni Sanders is intentionally unbearable throughout the film, so if you can tolerate her, I highly recommend giving this film a watch. However, if she is too much for you, it might be best to skip it.
4. Bodies Bodies Bodies: Recommend 👌
Rent on Amazon Prime – streaming on Showtime eventually
Synopsis: When a group of 20-somethings gets stuck at a remote mansion during a hurricane, a party game gone very, very wrong ends with a dead body on the ground and fake friends at every turn as they try to find the killer among them.
Bodies Bodies Bodies is a Gen Z slasher film that is similar to “Among Us,” except that there is no guessing about the killer. In this film, people are actually being slashed and the survivors are trying to figure out what is happening.
The film is very much a product of Gen Z culture, with dialogue featuring snappy one-liners, slang, and buzzwords that are common among Gen Z, as well as discussions of social justice issues such as white privilege and social status. The activities of the characters, such as vaping, drinking, and using their phones as flashlights, are also typical of Gen Z. The cast, which is mostly made up of Gen Z actors, adds a layer of authenticity to the film since their acting is quiet natural. While the film suffers from pacing issues and somewhat shallow characters, it is a true representation of Gen Z culture.
5. Senior Year: Pass
Streaming on Netflix
Synopsis: A high-school cheerleader falls into a coma before her prom; twenty years later, she awakens and wants to return to high school to reclaim her status and become prom queen.
Rebel Wilson may be iconic, but this film is not worth watching. Although the idea behind the film is interesting, its execution falls short.
It is overly exaggerated, cringeworthy, and Rebel Wilson’s character, who is the lead, is unlikeable and annoying. While I don’t dislike the portrayal of Gen Z in this film, a lot of it feels forced, partly due to the exaggerated sequences and very corny dialogue. If you’re looking for something to hate watch, I would recommend “Not Okay” over this film.