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Originally Published: Feb.7.2021

On January 15th, 2021 musician Machine Gun Kelly released a movie called Downfalls High to accompany his newly released album Tickets to my Downfall. The concept for this movie was truly one of a kind. I was not sure what to expect when I decided to watch it for the first time. The movie is almost entirely narrated by Machine Gun Kelly’s songs, along with Travis Barker on the drums. 

MGK aka Colson Baker received help in directing the film from MOD Sun, which starred Tik Tokker Chase Hudson also known as Lil Huddy, and Sydney Sweeney an actress most famously known for her role on the show Euphoria. The two played a high school couple and attempted to navigate life together even though they came from what seemed like different worlds. The film contains a plot but is strung together like a combination of fourteen different music videos. The very first scene showed Phoniex (Chase Hudson) in a mental hospital, and then the film begins to tell the story of how he ended up there through Machine Gun Kelly’s music. The musical film also features the album’s collaborators Trippie Reid, Blackbear, Iann Dior, and others. 

Immediately after watching the film for the first time, I met up with a friend of mine that had shown me Machine Gun Kelly’s newest album to watch it again. I really enjoyed the film had never really seen a music video for an entire album. Now that I have watched the film filled with pink aesthetic, every time I listen to the song Bloody Valentine I pictured a candy heart on a tongue and MGK with Travis Barker on a vintage television. Without giving away the entire plot I wanted to mention how I think that Scarlett (Sydney Sweeney) and her life in the film was a little too cliche. I know that Machine Gun Kelly’s vision was to give the film a Grease feel, but here it is I cannot help myself.

Here is the spoiler alert. 

If you have not watched the film do so now, or stop reading.

It was way too cliche to have Scarlett get pregnant in high school and die in a car crash in high school. It was intense do not get me wrong, but I think he would have gotten a few fewer eye rolls if he would have picked one and not the other. I also wish that he would have elaborated on the fight scene, not because World War III is one of my top songs on the album and I wanted to hear the entire song, it’s not that at all, but the fight should have been extended on-screen. 

Overall, except for the film being a little too cliche at times and wanting to hear more of MGK’s music for longer, the film was revolutionary. I cannot see what Machine Gun Kelly does next. I am praying that when COVID subsides I will find myself at a concert on the Tickets to my Downfall tour screaming Concert for the Aliens at the top of my lungs.

Julia Harpel

West Chester '23

Julia Harpel is a third-year student at West Chester Univerisity. She is working towards her BSED English Writings Track with a Creative Writing Minor. She hopes to one day earn a Master's Degree. Julia is a mental health advocate, environmentalist, and feminist. When she is not at school, at work, writing, or reading, she loves to spend time with friends, go on adventures such as kayaking, and listen to country music.
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