Meet the latest film to take on The Crucible: Blame, a movie about teenage sexuality, and the damage it can cause. The movie follows Abigail (Quinn Shephard, who also directs), a high schooler reemerging after a stint in a psych ward. She starts a friendship with her English teacher Jeremy, played by Chris Messina, which teeters on the edge of inappropriate. Abigail earns the role of Abigail in The Crucible, maybe because Jeremy favors her. Melissa (Nadia Alexander) is immediately suspicious of their friendship, maybe because she's jealous of their relationship.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in May to much acclaim. (Nadia Alexander won the Tribeca Film Festival Jury award for her role.) Shephard, who is just 22, is a first-time director. She was just 15 when she envisioned the film, which is why the movie feels so accurate.
“There are so many films about young girls and their sexuality,” Shephard told Refinery29 in May. “But they’re being made by 40-year-old men who are making it a sexy thing.”
Blame is meant to explore the awkward period when girls first discover they have sex appeal. “It’s a really sad thing, and sometimes a funny thing, and sometimes a weird uncomfortable thing,” Shephard says about sexual coming-of-age. "You’re sixteen and sometimes it feels like you’re basking in music and you’re just at the center of the world and everything is so romantic and beautiful and dramatic. And sometimes you’re uncomfortable and you’re having sex with someone in a laundry room and you’re really drunk and you’re going to throw up and it’s going to get in your hair.”
For the character of Abigail, that period is about searching for acceptance, and finding it in a teacher who may –or may not – be well-intentioned.
"There's not really anyone else that I'm close to," Abigail confides to Jeremy.
"I don't really have anyone I'm close to, either," he answers. And that, friends, is what you call a red flag.
Blame arrives in theaters and VOD on January 5. Watch the full trailer, below.
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