Arthouse filmmaker Harmony Korine (Mister Lonely) comes dangerously close to making a mainstream movie with this blackly comical thriller. While the film is often very funny, and constantly challenges our preconceptions by veering in directions we don't expect, it's also an intriguing exploration of America's hedonistic subculture.

Gomez and Hudgens also crush their Disney princess images as Faith and Candy, who decide they want to go to Florida for spring break with their pals Brit and Cotty (Benson and Korine). But they've spent all their cash on drugs, so they rob a restaurant and head to the beach. After indulging in a series of raucous parties, they end up in jail and are bailed out by a sleazy rapper-gangster who calls himself Alien (Franco). He takes them under his wing, getting them involved in his war with a dangerous cross-town rival (Mane).

The film is shot in lurid colours, with the girls wearing little more than fluorescent bikinis, sometimes accompanied with pink balaclavas. And the score by Skrillex and Cliff Martinez is visceral and hugely atmospheric, adding unexpected texture to the way Korine explores physicality, drugs and violence. It's also quite deliberate that, apart from the religiously minded Faith, these young women kind of blur together anonymously, like all the other bikini babes at the various beer-chugging, arms-in-the-air parties.

Continue reading: Spring Breakers Review