[[caption-width-right:250:In Cradle Bay, it doesn't matter if you're not perfect. ''You will be.'']]

''Disturbing Behavior'' is a 1998 [[SciFiHorror sci-fi horror film]] directed by ''[[Series/TheXFiles X-Files]]'' veteran David Nutter, which can best be described as ''Film/TheStepfordWives'' for the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' generation.

The film follows Steve (James Marsden), a {{high school}} senior who has just moved to the town of [[UncannyVillage Cradle Bay]], [[UsefulNotes/TheOtherRainforest Washington]] with his family. Here, he befriends three [[LonersAreFreaks outcasts]] -- [[TheStoner stoners]] Gavin (Nick Stahl) and UV, and "bad girl" Rachel (Katie Holmes). Gavin has long been suspicious about the "Blue Ribbons," a group of [[RichBitch preppy]], highly intelligent, [[SlobsVersusSnobs snobbish]] [[{{Jerkass}} douchebags]] who are considered the school's "cream of the crop" and take part in a program led by the school's psychologist Dr. Caldicott. The four students find out that the Blue Ribbons are far more sinister than they let up on, and may in fact be {{brainwashed}}... and that they are next.

The film was practically shredded in the editing room, having ten scenes cut (adding up to nearly twenty minutes -- the final cut is just 84 minutes long, counting credits) and a different ending put in by Creator/{{MGM}} over the objections of David Nutter, who reportedly [[http://articles.latimes.com/1998/sep/18/entertainment/ca-23820 considered]] pulling an AlanSmithee on the film due to the studio's meddling. Among the scenes cut include numerous story and {{character development}} scenes whose absence the film greatly suffers for, which perhaps explains the film's tepid reception by critics and at the box office. The [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci-Fi Channel]]'s edited-for-TV version of the movie often reinstates the deleted scenes (making it something of an unofficial [[{{Recut}} director's cut]]), but leaves the theatrical ending.

* AlmightyJanitor: Mr. Newburry. Despite being the school janitor and appearing to be insane, he is highly intelligent and merely ObfuscatingStupidity, carrying several pieces of classical literature with him. A deleted scene reveals him to be [[spoiler:a former psychologist who found out the truth behind the Blue Ribbon program, and was [[HeKnowsTooMuch fired for it]]]].
* BedlamHouse: The psychiatric hospital where the initial failed test subjects for the Blue Ribbon program [[spoiler:(including Dr. Caldicott's daughter)]] are being kept. Steve and Rachel break in after finding out about it.
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: Extended to an entire ''town'' -- parents move here with their troubled teens so that they will be "[[{{Brainwashed}} made]]" into model students and citizens.
* {{Brainwashed}}: All of the Blue Ribbons are former [[LonersAreFreaks outcasts]] and {{delinquents}} who were brought to Cradle Bay and had [[MindControlDevice mind-control chips]] implanted in their brains.
** BrainwashedAndCrazy: The mind control programming sometimes glitches out, causing the students to become [[AxCrazy violently insane]] and attack people nearby.
* BrownNote: The E-Rat-icator is designed to have this effect on rodents to scare them away, but it doesn't really work. [[spoiler:It works damn well against mind-control chips, however.]]
* ChekhovsGun:
** [[spoiler:The E-Rat-icator]] turns out to be an invaluable weapon against the Blue Ribbons.
** One of the deleted scenes has Dr. Caldicott talking about his daughter's success with the Blue Ribbon program, going on to Stanford and marrying a district attorney. [[spoiler:A later scene reveals that he's lying through his teeth -- his daughter is actually locked up in a mental hospital due to what he did to her. Removing the first scene badly lessened the impact of TheReveal, both emotionally and story-wise.]]
** A literal example: early in the film, Steve takes away the handgun that Gavin was carrying, thinking that he was going to try and kill his parents and the Blue Ribbons. A deleted scene shows his mother finding the gun in his room, causing her to call Dr. Caldicott.
* DeathBySex: The opening scene features one of the Blue Ribbons [[NeckSnap snapping the neck]] of a girl giving him head, then calling her a slut.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:How the Blue Ribbons and Dr. Caldicott both go down.]]
* DyingAsYourself: Happens to [[spoiler:Gavin]] in the original ending, where he laments the fact that he will never be able to meet his idol, [[Music/NineInchNails Trent Reznor]].
* EruditeStoner: Gavin, [[{{Brainwashed}} initially]].
* FaceHeelTurn: Gavin, after getting {{brainwashed}}.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner:
-->[[spoiler:'''Mr. Newburry:''']] ''[[ShoutOut HEY! TEACHER!]] [[Music/PinkFloyd LEAVE THOSE]] [[Music/TheWall KIDS ALONE!]]''
* FocusGroupEnding: One of the many things imposed on the theatrical cut by the studio.
* FreudianExcuse: In one of the cut scenes, Mr. Newberry gives us one for the whole town: several years ago, four drunk high school students had a car accident with a local "pillar of the community" and her young son, killing all six. It was "one more heartache than the town could stand". Now the people of Cradle Bay consider it a fair trade if their children "don't laugh or dance no more" as long as they don't "drive drunk no more" either.
* GlamourFailure: The glitches that cause the Blue Ribbons to go crazy.
* GullibleLemmings: How Mr. Newburry [[spoiler:defeats the Blue Ribbons, leading them off a cliff by putting a bunch of E-Rat-icators on his truck in order to piss them off and chase him]].
* HeroicAlbino: UV.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Mr. Newburry.]]
* InSeriesNickname: Mr. Newburry calls Steve "lunch boy".
* IronicEcho: "Be the ball!"
* JerkJock: The male Blue Ribbons are almost every "asshole jock" stereotype rolled together and cranked UpToEleven, [[KickTheDog kicking the dog]] about once every ten minutes.
* MadnessMantra: [[spoiler:Dr. Caldicott's daughter]], who is locked up in a mental institution, constantly repeats the phrase "Meet the musical little creatures that hide among the flowers".
* MeaningfulName:
** Mr. Newburry and Dr. Caldicott are both named for awards given to children's books. The UsefulNotes/NewberyMedal is for contributions to literature, while the Caldecott Medal is for pretty artwork -- and the Blue Ribbon program is all about keeping up appearances.
** The albino kid, who gets easily sunburnt, is named UV. Then again, that could just be his nickname.
* MaltShop: The Blue Ribbons hang out here. Gavin notes how anachronistic such a place is in TheNineties.
-->'''Gavin:''' "The Yogurt Shoppe? You wanna make an 'active culture' joke here, Stevie boy, or should I handle this one?"
* NeckSnap: Done in the opening scene.
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: Steve when Lorna's programming glitches up and she tries to sleep with him. When he turns her down, she goes homicidal.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Mr. Newburry, who lampshades this.
-->'''Mr. Newburry:''' "Haven't you ever wanted to just disappear, lunch boy? Poof, you're gone? You'd be surprised how interesting people become when they think you're ''really'' stupid."
* ThePreciousPreciousCar: Dickie and his Mustang, at least before he's Blue Ribbon-ized. The first thing he does afterwards is trash the car with a sledgehammer while the other Blue Ribbons cheer him on and join in, a symbol of how he's changed.
* PrecisionFStrike: Steve unleashes one when he learns his parents signed him up for the Blue Ribbons. David Nutter says in the DVD Commentary it was a TakeThat against all the ExecutiveMeddling.
* RecycledInSpace!: It's ''Literature/TheStepfordWives'' [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: in High School! ]]

* RunningGag: "Cue the power ballad".
* SequelHook[=/=]TheStinger: The theatrical ending shows [[spoiler:Gavin teaching in an InnerCitySchool, having survived the confrontation at the end, and still controlled by the Blue Ribbon programming]].
* SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny: Biological instinct [[FightingFromTheInside straining against]] Puritanical mind control is the most frequent cause of the Blue Ribbons' programming glitching out.
-->'''Dr. Caldicott:''' "Every time one of these kids gets a hard-on they go out and try to beat something with it."
* ShoutOut:
** Mr. Newburry is carrying around a weather-beaten copy of ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'', which is Steve's first clue that [[ObfuscatingStupidity Newburry isn't as simple-minded as he appears to be]]. Also, see FacingTheBulletsOneLiner.
** Steve's younger sister Lindsay is seen playing an alien version of the board game Operation early on. Given director David Nutter's work on ''Series/TheXFiles'', this likely wasn't a coincidence.
* SlobsVersusSnobs: The Blue Ribbons vs. the outcasts is a high school "preps vs. losers" version of this.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Steve and Rachel's escape from the mental hospital occurs while [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msycFxniVpM Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta"]] blares in the background.
* StarCrossedLovers: One of the deleted scenes reveals that Steve's brother Allen was like this with his girlfriend Abby. [[spoiler: The two of them killed themselves after their parents tried breaking them up, in a ShoutOut to [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet the trope namer]].]]
* TheStoner: Gavin and UV.
* TotallyRadical: Rachel uses the word "razor" as analogous to "cool" or "sweet". Gavin and UV's speech is also peppered with stereotypical '90s slang.
* TwoDecadesBehind: An in-universe example. The modern town of Cradle Bay contains a [[TheFifties '50s-style]] MaltShop, something that [[LampshadeHanging even the characters notice is anachronistic]], and which proves to be a big tipoff that something is wrong with the Blue Ribbons. [[FridgeBrilliance Chances are]], by giving a wholesome '50s aesthetic to the teen hangout, it's possible that the people running Cradle Bay were trying to instill into the kids that they won't stand for that [[NostalgiaFilter "modern" teen rebellion]].
* UncannyVillage: Cradle Bay.