Not so much a story as a series of party disasters perpetrated by hideous people, “Project X” is the feebleminded “found footage” version of “Risky Business,” but it is so noxious and self-intoxicated by its sneering badness that it feels like evidence in a trial instead of a should've-been-there party. There is no one to truly like and no one to root for, and the entire film seems like an experiment in making wild parties seem as boring and painful as oral surgery.
Thomas (Thomas Mann) is a nerd with dreams of winding up with the hottest girl at his high school in North Pasadena, Calif. His sociopathic best friend Costa (Oliver Cooper) eggs him on to go big and bad with the event. As party time approaches, no one is showing up, and then suddenly there is a deluge of people thanks to Costa's questionable recruiting techniques. What happens for the next hour or so is an exhausting litany of witless misogyny, gross-out jokes without humor and property damage as comedy. To top off the orchestrated “craziness” of the party, there is an angry dwarf and a drug dealer with a flamethrower — basically, early 1980s music video surrealism transplanted into an embarrassingly crass exploitation comedy.
The conceit is that “Project X” was culled from footage shot by onlooker Dax (Dax Flame) and edited together with participants' cellphone video. The idea is not far off from another found-footage comedy, 2010's “The Virginity Hit,” but its sensibilities are far closer to a Girls Gone Wild video. The young actresses getting semi-naked as “Project X” hits its skeevy stride didn't stoop so far as to strip for GGW, but they are stumbling around in the same ugly neighborhood.
— George Lang