Friday Night ‘Fro: The Strange Thing About The Johnsons

Certain things I don’t want to see but have to. The other night I tweeted that watching the trailer for The Strange Thing About The Johnsons was disturbing, but still, I had to seek it out. And to be honest, after finally watching The Strange Thing About The Johnsons, I’m still not sure what to make of it. Is it suppose to a dark comedy? Is it suppose to be a serious drama? What if this shit would’ve happened in the Huxtable household? Either way, this film has got to be one of the most fucked up things I’ve seen in years.

Two things I am sure of about The Strange Thing About The Johnsons:
1. It’s gonna take a while for me to forget about this movie.
2. The director, Ari Aster, is very talented.

Check the 30 minute short film up top; movie poster below.

Mike Awesome/Founder
  1. Yeah this movie definitely have me scratching my head and wondering what I just watched. Shit is fucked up but some parts kinda made me laugh a little bit even though it wasn’t suppose to be funny, I’m guessing. IDK overall this movie is weird and I don’t know how I feel about it. I know one thing I couldn’t be that dude father, I would whip my son ass badly if he try me like that. He had mind control over his dad man, smh.

  2. Most disturbing thing on this site since Gummo. But on the otherhand, seeing people’s reactions to the first 3 minutes is CLASSIC.

    1. I busted out laughing the first 3 minutes because I wasn’t expecting that shit to go like that. At the same time I was disturbed.

  3. The sad thing is that stuff like this actually happens when a child falls in love with one of the parents and the end up hating the other other and competing with them. Something was like this in Eve’s Bayou

    1. okay…falling in love with one and being territorial and such is one thing, raping your parent is some otherwordly shit.

  4. Based on what I’ve read about the director, this film was meant to be a dark comedy. That being said, I personally did not find this funny at all. In my opinion, sexual abuse is never funny. The film was certainly thought provoking and brought a very rarely discussed and taboo topic to light. These horrible things do happen. Anyone can be victimized in this manner if put in these unfortunate circumstances. Abusers come in many different forms. This film could have been a useful tool in helping people understand that sexual abuse is not just about the possible physical threat or assault that many endure as a result, but the threat and assault of the mind that is the most damaging. The father suffered out of shame that his own child could do this or even want to do this and that shame became ingrained in him as guilt that left him feeling powerless. Men can fall victim to such trauma as well. This film could have been far more meaningful if it didn’t trivialize it’s own point,( as well as the plight of many real- life survivors of such trauma), by aiming to be comedy. This is why there is such a lack of compassion and empathy towards this topic, there always seems to be a need to make light of it.    

    1. His son had mind control over his father which was so fucked up. A mind is a powerful tool which people don’t understand. I couldn’t be that dude dad I’m telling you… That boy would be in ICU if he tried some mess like that.

    2. so this entire triggering thing was one huge rape joke?! as disturbing as it was I thought it was speaking to the erasure of rape victims and the poor way we handle discussions about sex, consent  and taboo/kink and i almost liked that the director could pull that off in such a short time.. but that’s just disturbing if it’s a comedy.

      1. What threw me for a loop was the director actually acknowledging that the film was some time of dark satire. What is funny about rape? This movie brought all types of “What-ifs” after watching with a few co-workers. Initially, we believed (because there is a lot of unspoken/unseen background) that the father may have started out molesting the son and manipulating him into thinking that the treatment was derived out of love. Then, as the son grew older he began to molest the father and because it was never spoken of or addressed (as most issues such as these are not in many, many homes) and the father was afraid of being caught, he allowed it to continue for so many years but grew guilty about it because he was NOW on the receiving end. Very sad issue to address, very sad issue that goes on in many families and homes behind closed doors… but it’s extremely sad that the directors of this film took these issues to be a sort of comedy.

  5. What happened to the video? I wanted to show my friend this movie, it isn’t funny at all. However it is thought provoking and clearly shows the mind control aspect of sexual abuse.

    1. You made this? I’ll go ahead and check it out when I get a chance to.

      You actually liked “Strange Things About The Johnsons”, it was disturbing but I did laugh at certain parts since it caught me off guard.

  6. I saw the trailer on MTO and searched for this movie all day. I am totally disturbed by what i saw. I did read a story a few weeks ago about a man accused of raping his mother. He is in jail now pending trial. I just dont understand the mindset of a person who could do such a thing to their parents and vice versa. This will stay with me for a while, I can’t get past how crazed that family is and how that could be someone reality and you never know it. 

  7. I just saw this movie. The first word that comes to mind is WOW.
    This is one of the most twisted, sick movies I’ve ever seen yet I feel compelled to be HONEST enough to admit it’s still a good film. It’s crazy, uncommon, jaw-dropping and has the ability to leave you speechless with sadness and disgust yet it’s still entertaining. I guess those who enjoy this movie can call it a guilty pleasure.
     I question whether this is really supposed to be a dark comedy. Is it dark? Absolutely! Is it a comedy? Well, I guess it depends on your sense of humor. Personally, I don’t find sexual abuse and a sexual relationship between a man and his son funny. I don’t see the humor in that. It’s more like a dark drama. I suppose the only form of comedy is that the filmmakers had the BALLS to release this movie to the public. A public that is filled with the majority of people who strongly feel that incest and rape is wrong, unacceptable, disgusting and disturbing.
    Okay, so I ADMIT it’s an entertaining film. Some scenes made me feel uncomfortable but it’s a controversial film so I should’ve expected that. If you enjoy controversy ( whether you agree with it or not) you will most likely enjoy this.

  8. i just got finshed watching the entire movie on worldstar and man I thought Precious was the most fucked up movie I ever seen untill I saw this…wtf? really? homeboy molesting his own father that’s some sick shit…smgdh -_-

  9. Oh WOW….that is totally shocking and disturbing. I gotta say…the acting wasn’t all that great (sorry, but somethin’ about the Mom threw me off) but that is the most disgusting and messed up flick I witnessed. DEFINITELY won’t be posting this anytime soon…..ugh

  10. This film was uncomfortable… but good… interesting. I think using a black family is good, considering that everything is swept under a rug in our community. This opens up eyes… but if it was supposed to be a dark comedy, it sucked on that level… wasn’t many parts

  11. i didnt find this funny at all to be honest i was kinda confussed he rapedd him first so why is he the one scared. thats some sick shit and the mom dumb ass letting it go down then she wanna get ganster at the end . what a fucked up family .

  12. I had o look at it twice to undertand this movie .no matter how sick this is , i have to say it looks like krama , fro when he started rapping him as a child, he must had had a unwilling pleasureble efffect from it, he feel in love, the dad grew outta it .now he’s grown and he took controol of him so thats how i  can see it . wow !

  13. Am I the only one who got the comedy part of it?? Yes, the movie was strange and twisted but I definitely saw the was hidden in the actors and the background music! I was relieved to see it was a dark comedy because I felt as if something was wrong with me because I did laugh a good number of times. But using a black family did strike me as odd because all races have these types of family secrets that they hide behind their exterior. But when all is said and done.. How well do we know our families?? – TWO THUMBS UP!

  14. even though it was a gripping film, i found it LARGELY unrealistic. what typa bitchass father (& mother) would allow that? C’MON SON!

  15. Anyway, I literary discussed the film with my friends for the entire afternoon. It was beautifully made and extremely thought provoking. 

    I can’t make a morality judgement on the race issue because I don’t know the dynamics of the cast/crew. I would like to think that they got the best actors for the role. I thought they were so believable, specially the mother/wife. Her pain was evident in every scene after the wedding.I would love a full length feature, maybe a back story. I wanted to see how Isaiah interacted with his father prior to the abuse. I wanted to meet Isaiah’s wife. I wanted to see how his dominant personality served him outside of the destructive relationship he was engaged in with Sydney. The only suggestion I would have is that Ari Aster work on his interview skills. I think chalking it up to “a joke” is very disappointing and takes away from the work. You have made something here. Something that makes people feel. Own it.-Shaddae

  16. I don’t think the father ever raped his son. I believe the father may have shown his son that “everybody does it” and mutual sex grew out of that…from there the guilt in the father grew and that is where the son’ sick mind was able to grow and hold Daddy in the inferior position in the twisted relationship:  Dad couldnt’ say anything because he allowed it to happen in the first place…and the son took full advantage of Dad’s guilt.

  17. Not sure how I feel about this not knowing the full intentions of the director.   
    Maybe the film is a “what if” scenario for molestation with the father son roles reversed?  There are numerous cases of mothers ignoring the fact that their spouse is molesting their child but this was different.  I have heard of mentally ill and fully sane children physically abusing their parents but not sexually.  Had they not been related it would seem plausible that two married men could have an intimate relationship with one wife not knowing and the other in denial but this film seems impossible.   
    I can tell a lot of thought went into this movie…. I just need the punch line because WTF?!?

    1. They did really well with making the film a shock factor. It certainly shocked the hell out of me. I’m about to check out that link you just posted. I recognize that actor Meshach Taylor, wasn’t he on that old show “Designing Women”? Don’t even ask how I know

  18. This film underscores some of the hidden problems in the African-American community; mental health issues and abuse. Too often mental health disparities are classified as a part of a person’s character or that’s just how he is and left alone. Abuse whether to the elderly, children, spousal etc. often goes unreported. I think this is a realistic portrayal of what goes on behind closed doors. Sure people will say not my family and maybe not in this manner but ultimately mental health issues and abuses needs to be addressed. 

  19.  There are 3 types of monsters
    in this short film. The father, for molesting his child, the mother for
    ignoring & repressing her feelings only to irrupt w/ displaced
    anger and the son who turned the tables so unexpected on his father
    & mother who never saw they were creating a worse monster that would
    hold dad prisoner & victim to his own licentious actions and mom so
    disconnected there are no words to justify what she did and let happen.

  20. It was a good film. Definitely not as graphic as I thought it would be (thank goodness), but the Director did a phenomenal job. I’m applying for AFI now. 

  21. I loved it. I thought it was well written and for a short story it was well thought out and the story told itself. Ari Aster deserves some type of award for this. Although it was disturbing it showed a different side of molestation. Its not common for the parent to be the victim, but I’m glad someone had the courage to tell this story. I don’t see how this was meant to be a dark comedy, a satire maybe, but a dark comedy is a bit much. Nevertheless it was well done and the actors did an amazing job.

  22. Wow …different movie…i was surprised at how well i was directed…and acted…I didn’t see the comedy…but…the comments made by viewers were hilarious..and maybe…i’ll check it out again….(meshachtaylor…whoodathought)…


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