Follow TV Tropes


Film / Project X

Go To

Warner Bros. Pictures and the producers would like to thank everyone who contributed footage to the making of this film.

They would also like to apologize to law enforcement officials and the residents of the city of North Pasadena, CA, for the events you are about to see.

A.K.A. Wild Teen Party: The Movie.

Project X is a 2012 found footage film produced by Todd Phillips (of The Hangover fame) and Joel Silver (of Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and The Matrix fame). 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 was received slightly better with audiences and also 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, or the 1968 William Castle film. Or the video game Project × Zone.


  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Whilst its not an action film, there are three minor examples of this:
    • 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.
    • In-Universe example: the group escapes and takes refuge in their school's football field after the neighborhood 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.
  • Adam Westing: Miles Teller plays himself, and brings plenty of alcohol and a bus full of groupies to the party.
  • Aesop Amnesia: At the end of the movie, Costa promises that his next party is going to be even bigger.
  • 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.
  • Asshole Victim: A non-fatal example. Though T-Rick did have reason to be angry about his ecstasy drugs been stolen, torching the entire neighborhood was excessive, to say the least. Plus, he's a drug dealer. He thoroughly deserved getting pelted by a bottle and rubber bullets, having his fuel tank explode and later arrested.
  • Ax-Crazy: T-Rick acts like this, being willing to burn down a whole neighbourhood after getting his g arden gnome stolen which had his supply of ecstasy inside.
  • 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 suggests that the events of the film actually happened in Pasadena, though the film itself is a work of fiction.
  • Betty and Veronica: Played Straight, with blonde Kirby as one of the gang, and popular girl brunette Alexis.
  • Big Man on Campus: Thomas becomes this at the end.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Thomas becomes the most popular kid in school, and he manages to reconcile with Kirby, but his home (if not the entire neighborhood) 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. On top of this, Costa, the one directly responsible for how out-of-control everything got, gets off almost entirely scot free, only slightly mitigated the implication that he might face some repercussions down the line due to him possibly getting a few girls pregnant.
  • 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 every time he says something (which is very little) and punched by the midget despite not doing anything wrong. Additionally, Miles coldly tells him and J.B. that he doesn't like being filmed, which makes him quickly walk away.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Costa sets up 2 signs by the pool that says Naked Girls Only, which Thomas scoffs at. Later, during the party, Costa tells a girl to look at the sign, apologizing saying that he doesn't make the rules. When the girl takes off her bikini top, others do too, much to Thomas's surprise.
    Thomas: Dude, that sign fucking worked.
    Costa: You gotta have faith, son.
  • Chekhov's Gnome: The lawn gnome statue that Costa stole from T-Rick turns out was full of ecstasy. And T-Rick wants it back.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: T-Rick really wants his gnome back.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: To be precise, the 'F' word is used roughly 175 times in about 80 minutes. Justified in that this 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.
  • Creepy Child: Although Dax is pushing the child part, everyone is creeped out by his Goth appearance and the fact that he lives alone segues into implications that he's a Self-Made Orphan.
  • Deconstructed Trope
    • For Wild Teen Party, showing (with a huge dose of exaggeration) absolutely everything that could go wrong in a party like this. However, it's somewhat defeated when most of the characters essentially get off scot-free, with the exception of Thomas, and even he manages to become hugely popular and gain the respect of his father as a result of the party.
    • It also deconstructs the Found Footage Films genre by 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.
  • 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.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Costa steals a lawn gnome from T-Rick, which is revealed to be full of ecstasy. T-Rick responds by trying to burn down his neighborhood.
    • The little person broke an egg over the head of the other party guests. He and his friends respond by stuffing him into an oven.
  • Do Not Try This at Home: Apparently needed it, despite having such warnings printed on the front cover of the home video release, because several parties copied the film and threw ragers of their own, including over $100,000 in damages and even a murder. Though even after the disclaimer, the rest of the film proceeds with showing all the cool stuff that's going on... as well as the consequences.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Surprisingly played straight; whilst it was most likely unintentional, IMDb's parental guide on the movie 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.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Some of the partygoers tie Thomas's dog, Milo, to some balloons and float him into the air, ala Carl Fredricksen. Thomas instantly comes to the dog's rescue while calling out the assholes who did that.
  • Enemy Mine: The police and partygoers work together to bring down T-Rick, seeing as how he's torching the house.
  • Enfante Terrible: Everett and Tyler, the two kids Costa hired as party security, turn out to be crazy bastards willing to tase a man when he comes to the house to complain about the noise, and when he (quite understandably) punches one of them in the face in retaliation for being assaulted with said taser and goes to call the police, they tell Costa that they are going to burn his house down in revenge while resting up at the football field. Costa points out (quite horrified) that the man has a family and tells them to quit it.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Costa may be reckless, selfish, and largely responsible for what happened that night, but there are lines even he won't cross:
    • He immediately shuts down Everett and Tyler's revenge plan to burn down Rob's house, telling them to "let it go", since it's 6 in the morning.
      Costa: What the fuck are you talking about? Guy has a wife and a baby. You're not gonna burn his house down!
    • He also becomes horrified when Everett sneaks into Robert's closet, with the intention of tasing him in revenge for punching him in the face after tasing him.
    • He's genuinely horrified when he realizes that some of the partygoers put the midget in the oven, to the point of being one of the people who help get him out of it.
    • On top of those, he finds Dax just as unsettling as the others do.
      Thomas: What about you, Dax? What did your parents have to say?
      Dax: Oh, I live alone, actually.
      Costa: ...You're really starting to fucking scare me.
  • 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.
  • Fanservice: More or less the only real reason the Extended Cut exists; basically adds a whole batch of extended shots of female nudity at the pool, as well as a short section in one of the montages of girls flashing to the camera.
  • Fat Idiot: J.B., the slow-witted out of the trio; his parents claimed that he was "special needs", according to the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • 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.
    • Costa and Rob to each other.
    • Thomas at a news helicopter.
  • Gamer Chick: Kirby is seen kicking Costa's ass at Mortal Kombat 9 on the Xbox 360.
  • Godwin's Law: While Thomas' dad is going over the many rules for when he and his wife are away, Costa is seen doing a finger mustache and a straight-armed Nazi salute.
  • Groin Attack: The little person sucker punches a lot of men in the nuts. He even punches a poor young woman in the you-know-what.
  • Hero Antagonist: Rob and later the police had a good reason to shut down the party as it causes a disturbance to the neighbors and eventually destroyed the neighborhood.
  • Informed Judaism: J.B. and Costa.
  • It's All About Me: Costa. For starters, he bullies and peer-pressures his friend into having the biggest party imaginable for his birthday when it's clear that he has no interest in any such thing.
  • Jerkass:
    • Costa belittles his friends, does wildly reckless things, and is just unpleasant to everyone he meets.
    • On a smaller scale, Thomas' father. He mentions in a private conversation that he feels Thomas is a loser because he doesn't take any risks. He is actually surprised and even a little proud when he sees the aftermath of the party.
    • The midget is pretty indiscriminate about who he targets with his Groin Attacks, even going after a woman for no reason at one point.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rob has a reason to order the party to be over as it is a disturbance to his family, yet he gets tased and further attacked for it.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Played with in regards to Costa, the one who planned the entire party. He gets his charges dropped because his family can afford a good lawyer. However, he is still awaiting the results of three paternity tests.
    • The midget gets no comeuppance for his Groin Attacks or driving Thomas' dad's Mercedes into the pool.
    • J.B. qualifies, to a lesser extent. His only punishment is having to ride the special needs bus to school, which is a moot point since the characters are graduating soon anyway.
  • 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.
  • Made of Iron: T-Rick survives being set on fire and a mobile home exploding with him inside it.
  • The Millstone: Every bad thing happens because of Costa.
  • Minor Living Alone: Dax lives by himself despite still being in high school, possibly because he murdered his parents.
  • Moment Killer: Happens numerous times 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.
  • Mommy Mobile: As punishment for the party, Thomas' parents make sure that his first car is their minivan, which, on top of the indignity associated with driving a minivan, was also trashed during the party. However, Thomas, his friends, and his classmates think it looks badass after what was done to it.
  • Not So Above It All: Thomas' father admits that as furious as he is with Thomas, he's also quite impressed by the aftermath of the party.
  • 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.
  • One of the Boys: Kirby.
  • Parental Abandonment: Dax, with the implication at the end that he's a Self-Made Orphan.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: Reaches this when ecstasy is revealed to be within the gnome.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Costa is racist, sexist, and homophobic, repeatedly calling people faggots.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: Thomas' dad tells him not to touch the Mercedes or let anybody else use it. Predictably, it winds up at the bottom of the pool.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The party is a success, but the consequences for Thomas are just as massive.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: By T-Rick at the end.
  • Running Gag: Costa seems to have a cousin for everything.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: J.B.
  • Serious Business:
    • Costa and parties.
    • The security kid with the taser is in way over his head and knows it, but it doesn't stop him from taking his self-proclaimed job very seriously.
  • Share the Male Pain: It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but during the part where the pissed-off dwarf attacks almost every gentleman in the groin, he also punches a female bystander in the vagina.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Costa.
  • Skinny Dipping: Costa puts a "Naked Women Only" sign next to the pool. To the boys' surprise, several of the girls actually obey it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Costa is a subversion. He thinks he's cool and is quick to blame the two other boys for his loser reputation and lack of a 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' father when he returns and sees the house trashed from the party. Stating he "didn't think [Thomas] had it in him."
  • Straight Edge Evil: There are hints that the soft-spoken Dax may have actually killed in the past. However, when it's offered, he says he doesn't drink alcoholnote .
  • Teens Are Monsters: A great majority of the teens qualify, but Costa deserves special mention, being sexist, racist, and perverted, among other things.
  • Title Drop: By Costa at the beginning of the film.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Of the four main characters, the worst are Costa, who is exceptionally sexist and racist, and Dax, who is apparently guilty of murder.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Costa.
  • Trash the Set: By the end of the movie the house is utterly wrecked due to the teens pretty much trashing the place, topped off with being scorched by T-Rick coming in with a flamethrower and the whole place getting utterly soaked by emergency services responding to this via a helicopter and water drop.
  • 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The little person angrily punches Costa in the nuts right after the latter saves him from the oven.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: All of the four main characters are this, but Costa takes the cake, as he is a foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed sociopath who is also racist and misogynistic and downright disgusting.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Thomas reluctantly letting Costa host a raging party for his 17th birthday at his house in the first place.
    • Costa steals T-Rick's gnome which is actually laced with ecstasy. T-Rick is not happy about it, to say the least.
  • 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.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Thomas asks himself this at the end.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
    • Thomas was convicted of disturbing the peace, contributing to the delinquency of minors and inciting a riot... and was voted "most likely to succeed" by his class.
    • Costa was cleared of all charges thanks to his expensive lawyer... and is currently awaiting results on three separate paternity tests.
    • J.B. also got his charges dropped because his parents claimed that he was "special needs"... but now he has to ride the short bus to school.
    • Dax is being investigated for the disappearance of his parents.
  • Wild Teen Party: The Movie. The grand majority of the plot revolves around its development from beginning to end in near-Real Time and the destruction it leaves behind is borderline apocalyptic.
  • World of Jerkass: The main characters are hedonistic, perverted, drug-addled individuals who destroy a great deal of property and wreak havoc in their quest to have a good time. The other characters aren't much better, being punching bags at best and downright violent at worst.