“Downfalls High” – Machine Gun Kelly’s Passion Project
Downfalls High, Machine Gun Kelly’s directorial debut, has further cemented the performer’s spot in pop punk. He brought his 2020 hit album, Tickets to My Downfall, to life with a movie. One that he calls a “one-of-a-kind musical experience.”
MGK himself and singer-songwriter Mod Sun had been writing the movie for months. Additionally, it is Blink-182’s Travis Barker who narrates Downfalls High alongside Kelly.
It stars TikTok personality Chase Hudson as Fenix, a misunderstood musician and hopeless romantic. Opposite him is actress Sydney Sweeney who plays Scarlett, the popular girl who gives Fenix a chance. Tickets to My Downfall is the soundtrack to the pair’s emotional love story.
Complete with anarchy symbols, broken hearts, and smashed guitars, the movie took high school sweethearts to a new level. (Literally – Fenix places a sweetheart candy that reads “bloody valentine” on Scarlett’s tongue to ask her to be his girlfriend. It’s a sweet moment between rough-and-tumble characters that also pays homage to Kelly’s breakout rock hit, “Bloody Valentine.” ) Downfalls High is the fictional school where the movie is set. It’s home to Scarlett, Fenix, teenage misfits, and a whole lot of cliques.
Downfalls High, Machine Gun Kelly’s movie musical, is Gen Z’s version of Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway. It’s modern and edgy, while still being quite romantic. Scarlett and Fenix are today’s Saint Jimmy and Whatsername, both have a wicked love story set to pop punk tunes.
From #1 Album to Fictional Universe
The movie debuted on Facebook Watch January 15 and gained over 16 million views opening weekend. (Another four since it’s YouTube debut, too.) MGK took to Instagram to share the news about the growth of his film. With matching pink heart emojis, he wrote “thanks to everyone who helped us turn the album into its own world and era.”
Tickets to My Downfall dropped September 25, 2020 and went No. 1 within the first week on October 4. The record is Machine Gun Kelly’s fifth to date, it was also his first to reach the chart-topping milestone. Downfalls High began filming the very next day and wrapped on October 8. The entire 49-minute-long movie took just four days.
“It was almost like shooting 14 music videos back-to-back, but with a narrative that’s outside of my personal life stories,” Kelly told NME. It’s like a “pop-punk Grease,” he said.
Every song from Tickets to My Downfall is featured in the movie in some way. This includes the critically acclaimed hits, “Bloody Valentine” and “my ex’s best friend,” as well as 12 other elaborate performances.
The fictional world that came straight from the heart of Machine Gun Kelly is resonating with fans everywhere. It showcases that being yourself can be a good thing and falling hard for someone (or something) is ok. Tragedy is hard, life is harder, and relationships (romantic or otherwise) are the hardest.
Not every story starts with “Once upon a time” and ends with “And they lived happily ever after.” This movie, and Tickets to My Downfall, puts that on full display.