British newcomer heartthrob Harris Dickinson shines in Beach Rats by director Eliza Hittman as part of the Dare strand at this years BFI London Film Festival.

What’s it all about? Meet Frankie. By day, he’s your typical Brooklyn teenage stud – hangs around with the wrong crowd, talking about bullshit female conquests, smoking weed and generally wasting his time at the park and Coney Island with no direction in life, all to numb the pain away of his father’s terminal illness. By night, Frankie logs onto a local gay cam site, looking for sexual gratification and park hook-ups with older guys to satisfy a hunger that he can’t quite explain.

Why is it good? Although dark, gritty and extremely homo-erotic, Beach Rats keeps you intensely focused on the struggle of a slightly troubled teenager struggling with his sexuality.

Although these storylines are a dime a dozen in gay independent cinema, Beach Rats has you cringing at the all-too-real moments of bleak Brooklyn life, peer pressure and puts you right into the shoes of a young man who makes some rather bad decisions. You’ll find yourself going, “No Frankie, don’t do/say that – it gets better later”.

If you’ve ever struggled with trying to come out in an unsupportive, heteronormative toxic environment, Beach Rats will resonate deeply with you. If your coming out was a lot different, you’ll enjoy Beach Rats for it’s blatant sexual overtones and the marvellous debut of Harris Dickinson, who’s enigmatic beauty shines through in an accomplished, yet dark screen debut.

Beach Rats has already been released in the US but expect it to hit a limited UK run around November whilst it makes it’s way through the film festival circuit.

Beach Rats
Impressive lead actor debutVery realHomo-erotic
3.9Enigmatic Harris Dickinson