Columbine. Massacre. Premeditated evil knotted these two previously unrelated words together into a chilling six-vowel death knell of middle-class lives and complacency. The 1999 slaughter at the suburban Colorado high school has been revisited and reshaped by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting
) into a disturbing, haunting, exasperating, superficial and provocatively passive rumination on modern violence whose title refers to the proverbial pachyderm in the living room that no one mentions. Van Sant avoids the fish-bowl approach of mainstream media coverage of the mayhem and submerges us intimately into the milieu in which such horror wagged its ugly head. He sends a Steadicam through the hallways, classrooms and playing fields of a fictional school as the film wallows in the mundane while ticking like a time bomb. The effect is more seductive than revelatory as style overwhelms substance.