Electrick Children

Out Now On-Demand

A movie about miracles...

After an 'immaculate conception' at the hands of a cassette tape, a Mormon girl from a fundamentalist Utah community runs away to nearby Las Vegas in this critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama. Stars Julia Garner (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Rory Culkin (Igby Goes Down). The feature debut from writer/director Rebecca Thomas.

"A group of freaky punks are astonished when a strange girl approaches them as they stagger out of the club. But before long they succumb to Rachel’s innocent charm and decide to take her into the fold. It’s 1996 and Rachel has just turned fifteen... From an archaic Mormon community, she has rushed headlong into the city to escape being forced into marriage by her father. Pregnant, she’s convinced that a forbidden rock song she listened to secretly in the cellar is the cause. She has come to Las Vegas to track down a mysterious red Mustang and the musician who sang Hanging on the Telephone on the tape. As she moves angelically about this brave new world, Rachel stumbles across a surprising secret." (Berlin Film Festival)


Directed by

Written by



Rating: M contains offensive language, sexual references & drug use


Official Site


Aaron Yap


First-time writer/director Rebecca Thomas’ coming-of-age tale of a 15-year-old Mormon girl getting a taste of freedom and rebellion is like the gentler Little Miss Sunshine version of religious cult movies. Easily less unnerving and skin-crawling than Sean Durkin’s recent Martha Marcy May Marlene, save for the disquieting opening scene, Electrick Children shoves all that dark brainwashing stuff into the background, opting instead for an accessibly cute look at the naive, cloistered outsider discovering the big bad world out there.

Julia Garner, who also had a part in MMMM, is winningly ethereal as Rachel, who thinks she’s been made pregnant from listening to a tape of the Nerves’ catchy power pop classic Hanging on the Telephone. Her fundamentalist father (Billy Zane, superbly creepy) wants her married off, but she hits the road, leaving her out-of-time dust bowl compound in Utah and ends up in the middle of gaudy big city Las Vegas, befriending Rory Culkin and his boozy, scruffy rocker friends.

Some predictable fish-out-of-water sniggers follow, inviting us to laugh at Mormon kids lettin’ loose: Rachel speaks on a mobile phone and enjoys the wonders of kissing for the first time, while her brother Mr. Will skateboards, gets drugged up and spouts profanities. But any insight into the consequences of young impressionable minds being perverted by religious fundamentalism is fleeting, as the film ultimately exposes itself as fluffy fantasy with a terrible, coincidence-packed third act that feels engineered for plot convenience rather than realism or truth.

Guardian (UK)


So deftly done it's three parts enchantment to one part irritation.



Rebecca Thomas's feature debut shows a striking visual promise that's not quite matched by her storytelling.

Little White Lies


One of the film's greatest successes is the juxtaposition of life within the community with that of the youth culture of Las Vegas (where much of the film is set), offered without any simplistic judgements over which way of life is morally and socially preferable.

Time Out London


The pleasures of ‘Electrick Children’ are almost exclusively to be found in its photography – all magic-hour desert haze and flickering, unfocused neon – and the performances, which are altogether superb.

Total Film (UK)


Starting off with delicate brushstrokes, the metaphors start getting heavy-handed by the time she runs away to Vegas, discovering the temptations of Sin City, Rory Culkin’s thrash-metal skater dude and some silly plot twists.

Variety (USA)


Thomas directs with such blithe grace and elegant pacing, and the thesps are so darn cute, any sins are easily forgiveable.

Empire (UK)


An interesting and catchy take on a traditional tale of repressed teenage rebellion.



A charming fairytale

Most enjoyable ride if you decide to go along with it. This is not a realistic film, so keep that in mind and be charmed by the lovely Rachel and her brother Mr Will discovering the world and finding their place in it. However some but not all intrigues will be resolved, and in that sense the film keeps in touch with reality.