Project X is a 2012 found footage film produced by Todd Phillips (of The Hangover fame) and Joel Silver. It is about three teenage boys, Thomas, Costa and J.B., who decide to celebrate the former's 17th birthday with the most epic party in the school's history, after promising Thomas' parents that nothing crazy would happen to their house while they were gone for the weekend. Unfortunately for them, as the partygoers pour in, the situation quickly gets out of their control.The filmmakers made a point of keeping many of the film's details secret so as to increase the mystery and hype surrounding it, seeking out unknown actors and using what was originally meant as a placeholder title as the film's actual name. It has mostly gotten negative reviews from critics, though it turned out to be very profitable.Not to be confused with the 1987 movie of the same name, which was about Matthew Broderick and a bunch of chimpanzees in the Air Force.
After Thomas gets caught with Alexis, Kirby runs off upset. After failing to win her back around, Thomas then looks at the scale of the party and how wrecked his house is getting, before throwing out two guests from his dad's office, and sitting quietly with worry and trying to confide in Dax. This leads to his Despair Event Horizon shortly after (see below).
In-universe example: the group escape to their school's football pitch after the neighbourhood gets burnt down. Thomas tells the others that he wants to sit alone for a little bit and think about what he's going to do on his return home.
The Alleged Car: The minivan at the end of the film, which is missing two doors and has had most of its paint scorched off. Thomas' parents force him to drive it to school as punishment, though his friends think it looks badass.
Based on a True Story: More specifically, based on this guy. Compare the ending of the film to that video, particularly the way that Costa is dressed. The opening of the film also claims that the events of the film actually happened in Pasadena, though the film itself is a work of fiction.
Betty and Veronica: Straight, with blonde Kirby as one of the gang, and popular girl brunette Alexis.
Bittersweet Ending: Thomas becomes the most popular kid in school, and he manages to reconcile with Kirby, but his home is destroyed, his parents have had to use his college fund to pay for the damage, he'll probably be in debt into his adult years to fix it all and he's been indicted on several charges.
Butt Monkey: J.B.'s sole purpose in the film seems to be simply being there to be on the receiving end of fat jokes from Costa.
Dax to an extent; he gets mocked by Costa everytime he says something (which is very little), punched by the midget despite not doing anything wrong, and Miles coldly tells him and J.B. that he doesn't like being filmed, which makes him quickly walk away.
Cluster F-Bomb: To be precise, the 'F' word is used roughly 175 times in about 80 minutes. Then again, it is a movie about teens partying without any sort of boundaries whatsoever.
The Corrupter: Costa really is a horrible influence on Thomas and the rest of the group by extension. The stuff he tempts Thomas into doing might just be incredibly stupid and reckless rather than outright evil, but you probably couldn't tell from the end results.
The Danza: All of the characters share the same first names as their actor, although Costa only refers to his first name (Oliver) when telling the neighbours about the party.
Diegetic Switch: Happens a few times, which kind of hinders the illusion of it supposedly being entirely found footage. Usually crops up in scenes that are longer in the unrated cut, presumably for the sake of editing.
Can be seen as this for Wild Teen Party, showing (with a HUGE dose of exaggeration) absolutely everything that could go wrong in a party like this, and the consequences for the protagonists, which are quite severe (especially for Thomas). Even the movie itself is sometimes referred to as a parental warning.
It also deconstructs the Found Footage Films genre and showing what kind of person would go around filming what are supposed to be private conversations for the purpose of it going into the narrative.
Despair Event Horizon: Thomas seemingly loses it and decides to stop caring when the helicopter passes above his house. He flips off the camera and proceeds to jump from his roof... right into the bouncy castle.
Drugs Are Bad: Surprisingly played straight; whilst it was most likely unintentional, IMDb's parental guide makes a very good point, saying that even though the use of drugs is portrayed as harmless fun, the party quickly goes downhill after they're taken.
Enforced Method Acting: The three lead actors were sent to Disneyland together and spent a weekend up at a cabin in Big Bear City so as to make a more believable friendship between them. Also, during filming of the party scenes, the music kept playing even when cameras weren't rolling so as to maintain the party atmosphere among the extras.
Filming was also done chronologically, which many of the cast members pointed out that the exhausted, 'drugged up' look of the characters was also down to having to shoot more extreme and intense parts of the film one after another.
Extreme Doormat: Thomas' main problem. If he had made any attempt at all to stand up against Costa's reckless suggestions he would have been an overall happier person and would have to deal with far less trouble in the end.
Expy: Many have liken the plot of the movie to Superbad, many of the characters are similar as is their motivation. The only difference is that it focuses on the party then trying to get to it.
The Faceless: Averted early on — while the movie's camera-based POV would normally leave the cameraman Dax as an example, he takes a brief shot of a mirror so the audience gets a clear view of him, and he even gets a scene towards the end of the film where he talks about the utterly chaotic party while having the camera pointed at his face.
More or less the only real reason the Extended Cut exists; basically adds a whole batch of extended shots of girl's boobs at the pool, as well as a short section in one of the montages of girls flashing to the camera.
Fingore: J.B. breaks his pinky finger jumping off the roof onto the bouncy castle.
Flipping the Bird: The lawn gnome statue does this perpetually, and Thomas does it to the helicopter.
Fun Personified: Costa, even as the party is on its way to chaos, he still has focus of having fun and keeping the party going. Also at the end of the movie, when he sees Thomas' minivan, his first comment is on how the car looks cooler.
It's All About Me: Costa. Why else would he bully and peer-pressure his friend into having the biggest party imaginable for his birthday when it's clear that he has no interest in any such thing? Sure, he keeps telling Thomas that's he doing him a huge favour by doing this for him, but really, who are we kidding? It's what he wants, and that's all that matters. And this isn't even going into his general disregard for his friends and... well, just about anyone else apart from himself.
Jerkass: Costa, the guy belittles his friends, does wildly reckless things and is just unpleasant to everyone he meets.
On a smaller scale, Thomas's father, who mentions in a private conversation, that he feels Thomas is a loser because he doesn't take any risks. He actually surprised and even a little proud when he sees the aftermath of the party.
Karma Houdini: Costa, the one who planned the entire party, gets his charges dropped because his family can afford a good lawyer. He's still awaiting the results of three paternity tests, though.
Kill It with Fire: T-Rick shows up at the party wearing body armor and carrying a flamethrower, looking for revenge against Thomas, Costa and J.B. for stealing his lawn gnome statue full of ecstasy.
Leno Device: At the end of the film, Jimmy Kimmel is talking about the party on his show, along with several real-life LA-area DJs.
Moment Killer: Happens numerous time to Thomas. Anytime he's about to get some action, an incident happens, prompting him to leave the girl. The last time, it's Kirby who walks in on him fondling Alexis' breasts, causing her to break up with him.
Oh Crap: Thomas has this reaction every time something goes a little wrong, which is to say, for about half the movie. The most notable one would be when the dwarf drives the car right in the pool. This time, even Costa realizes that he just can't repair the damages anymore.
Skinny Dipping: Costa puts a "Naked Women Only" sign next to the pool. To the boys' surprise, several of the girls actually obey it (that the boys are neither girls nor naked is, of course, completely ignored).
Small Name, Big Ego: Costa. He thinks he's cool, and is quick to blame the two other boys for his loser reputation and lack of girlfriend, but the scenes showing him inviting people to the party indicates that it's probably just in his head. He's also fond of talking about his life in Queens, where he supposedly was one of the coolest boys ever. On the other hand, he did organize the wildest party ever without suffering any lasting consequences, managed to gather a very large crowd for his friend's birthday, became one of the coolest kids in school, and scored with at least three girls.
So Proud of You: A low key version from Thomas's father when he returns and sees the house trashed from the party. Stating he "didn't think he (Thomas) had it in him."
Tempting Fate: Basically the first quarter of the movie. Any Genre Savvy viewer can guess that any of the rules laid out by Thomas or his father will end up broken.
Trailers Always Spoil: Pretty much every scene of note, such as the neighborhood in ruins, the midget in the oven, the Benz in the pool, and T-Rick in his flamethrower suit was shown in the preview trailers.
The Voiceless: Dax, the main cameraman, rarely speaks until the very end. Given what we learn about him later, this makes him a lot scarier. Even the main characters are freaked out by him.
Title Drop: By Costa at the beginning of the film.
The trope is eventually Deconstructed. Thomas, Costa, J.B. and Dax are all arrested or almost arrested at the end (as opposed to in most examples of the trope where the kids get by with a slap on the wrist).
Your Cheating Heart: Kirby is understandably upset when she sees Thomas and Alexis half-naked in bed right after the two of them (Kirby and Thomas) had kissed, though they do reconcile at the end.