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'Kill Theory' opens up with a psychiatrist interviewing a mental
patient in his office about a rock-climbing incident which fatally
killed his friends and left him as the sole survivor. We only hear the
voice of the man in this scene, and because of his good behavior, he is
released from hospital. Cut to a group of friends (including Agnes
Bruckner, Teddy Dunn) celebrating a graduation at a remote vacation
home. Sex, drugs, fun and partying is what they are looking for, but
instead, they find themselves forced to play a deadly game of survival
by the same man from the hospital, who forces them to kill each other
one by one.
Kill Theory was originally slated for a theatrical release from Lionsgate Films, and now has a DVD and theatrical release in Russia. It absolutely confuses me why a solid little slasher movie like this gets poor treatment from Lionsgate, but then again they are the same people responsible for giving the great "Midnight Meat Train" a very poor theatrical release and giving the god-awful "Disaster Movie" a wide theatrical release. Kill Theory has great production values and doesn't look cheap at all, and if gone to theaters, would have probably done pretty good - so Lionsgate screwed themselves over, again!
Kelly Palmer, first-time screenwriter, has proved to have writing talent with this movie and he did a very good job. The acting from the cast was solid, and I particularly loved Teddy Dunn's performance in the movie - he stood out to me. Horror stars Agnes Bruckner (Vacancy 2), Kevin Gage (Amusement) and Taryn Manning (The Breed) give solid performances also, as well as the rest of the cast. The movie also has some pretty solid death scenes (which are brutal) and it feels like a slasher movie with guns at times. My favorite kill would have to be the "ownage" by the shovel - great kill! The death order is very unpredictable also, and the ending was shocking. Does everyone die? Do they beat the killer? Does the lead die? Does the least-likely character live? All I can say is, I was shocked.
The movie also had a "Saw" feel to it, with the killer communicating via tapes, mentioning survival, using traps and such. I think it's safe to say this was probably inspired by Saw somehow, but it's not a rip-off, unlike the horrible "Are You Scared?" (2006). The only things that I didn't really like about Kill Theory was the fact that Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls, Cruel World) character was incredibly annoying in this movie with his whining and screaming, and the fact that Carly Pope (Yeti: Curse of The Snow Demon) and Edwin Hodge (Mandy Lane) are only featured in photograph/newspaper clippings and don't have an actual roles - disappointing.
Kill Theory is furthering my proof that movies that get dumped to DVD are definitely improving than they used to be, let's say, ten years ago. DTV films are getting better and better in terms of all around film-quality, and some of them are even better than some of the crap we get in theaters (Uwe Boll movies, Disaster Movie, lame Asian remakes). Kill Theory is a cool little slasher flick with lots of violence, a good plot and strong performances, which was mistreated by Lionsgate. I definitely recommend this.
At this point in horror history, long gone are the simple, yet
effective, "By-the-numbers" slasher flicks. Everything has to be bigger
and better than the last big thing. What Kill Theory does NOT do, is be
an innovative force. It doesn't try to create the next big gimmick for
horror movies to come. What it DOES do, and well I might add, is take
everything that has made slashers work in the past, and incorporate
that into a very competently made modern slasher flick.
One of the things I liked most about Kill Theory, is that there really isn't a main character. There is no obvious hero, there isn't really a "Red herring" so to speak. The film puts together a decent ensemble of people, some of whom are recognizable from past efforts, some were unknowns. For me, I immediately noticed Theo Rossi, and Taryn Manning from Sons Of Anarchy, an excellent show if you haven't checked it out yet. I also recognized Daniel Franzese from "Bully". Overall though, Each character appears to be as important as the last. It never emphasizes one character over an other.
The concept is interesting. It's not something new, but it's done very well, and keeps you engaged in the story, instead of waiting for the next kill. Normally in modern slashers, I've completely tuned the "Story" out, and I'm sitting in anticipation for the next piece of visual effects put on display. Speaking of effects, there are plenty of scenes of blood and gore in the film, which are also done very well. So if you're looking for some grue and grime, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the level of gritty violence and gore.
The pacing was perfect. Sitting at a brisk 81 minutes, the film takes no time setting things in motion. There is a "Whodunit" aspect to the film, but it never harps on it. You don't see the "Killer's" face until the end of the film, but it doesn't make it a big "Reveal" moment,and those of us who have been keeping up to date on slashers, will immediately recognize his voice.
If you're thirsting for a slasher film, and if you're like me, and are sick of the "Saw" franchise, and it's imitators, give Kill Theory a shot. It may not be the next big thing, but it takes different elements that made classic slashers work, and put them together in a fun, bloody, competent package.
3.5/5 - napalmfuzz
A welcome new take on the slasher genre, Kill Theory starts out quite
well, but soon deteriorates into TV teen-soap territory because of the
ill thought out character relationships.
The titular kill theory of the villain only works because the characters are pretty shallow and have a common backstory straight out of a bad Gossip Girl story strand. It would have been much more interesting if the group dynamic at least resembled one from the real world where friends do not necessarily hold old grudges and girls might not viciously fight over guys who seemingly do not even deserve it. This way the plot becomes repetitive and predictable quite soon.
It's sad that instead of really working the new angle, the filmmakers only used it as a hook to dress up the same old same old. Acting is solid throughout, apart from one spectacularly bad choice. The actor playing the "put upon fat guy with strong complexes and deep resentment waiting to surface" plays just that with all the cliché choices one might associate with the cliché role, plus overacts so badly that he completely kills all the scenes he is in. He should go back to acting school or look up "restraint" in the dictionary. (To be fair to him, the director might also be to blame; how could he let the guy screw up so disastrously is beyond belief - are they close friends or relatives?) All in all, a film that one might pass the time with but nothing memorable.
Kill Theory is the best horror film i have seen in a long time. Filled with unpredictable twists what further elevates it is the fact that everyone is a killer and anyone could kill anyone at any moment this keeps you at the edge of your seat. The acting is also above average for this kind of film especially Agnes Bruckner ,Taryn Manning,Teddy Dunn and newcomer Ryanne Duzich. Carly Pope fans are in for a disappointment as she is only featured in a picture (deleted scenes?) given the quality of the film it is a wonder that lions-gate has shelved this for so long since it could become the next Saw. The running time is somewhat short at about 80 minutes but the film makes up for that with its fast pacing.
To be honest, Kill Theory wasn't high on my "Must watch of '09" list.
Actually, it wasn't on there at all. But, I had the chance to, so I
figured I might as well do. Let me tell you, I'm glad I did. Kill
Theory is one of the best Horror films in ages. I know what you're
thinking. "If it's so great, then why haven't I heard of it?" You have
your friends down at LionsGate to blame for that. Here they have a
perfectly good movie on their hands and they won't release it for only
God knows why. Perhaps these early good reviews might prompt them to,
but don't hold your breath on it. After all, this is LionsGate.
Kill Theory is about a group of 6 college friends who head off to a secluded vacation home for fun and... well, I think you know. But, before they can get to any of that, they are targeted by a mysterious killer who forces them to kill off their friends -- or be killed themselves. Let's just say that there's a bloody, gory mess left behind.
Think you know who survives? Think again. There is no virgin blonde girl with big boobs who manages to easily defeat the killer even though her friends couldn't. The body count is completely random and unpredictable. I couldn't believe who survived, that being due to the fact that all the characters are developed so very well. I also couldn't believe the last-minute twist which is executed so well that I was left just gaping at the screen.
The acting is good and so are the production values, so half the time you don't even feel like you're watching a DTV flick.
Honestly, if LionsGate doesn't give this movie the treatment it deserves, then something's definitely outta wack. If they can give wide releases to crap like Disaster Movie, then they should have no problem with this solid slasher flick.
I highly recommend this movie if you're a fan of teen slice 'em ups or even if you're not. Fans of the Saw series should like it also since it has quite a few similarities to those movies.
Final Verdict: 10/10, 2009 looks set to be a good year for Horror with movies such as My Bloody Valentine 3-D (also distributed by LionsGate) and the reboot of Friday the 13th.
OK...I think it was a cool movie..cool premise and a cool script for
the most part.
The actors, the gore, the setting, even the "scary" music was all good.
However...why are teens always so well off? Why are they always out to get drunk and party? Why are the chicks always wearing tight clothing and thongs? Why are they always super sexy hot looking? Why is the house always big and clean and in the middle of nowhere without any line of communication? In 2009 there are satellite phones, GPS units, faxes, pagers, mobile devices of all sorts that have superb range - even in desert and forest and mountain ranges - so how can these kids be stuck in an area that is free of any communication?
These kids are not short on anything in the latest area of fashion or toys - so how are they always unable to get through to a source of communication? It's their sole reason in life...to enjoy their wealth and riches...otherwise they would be working at the mall or a restaurant or doing some real job, rather than just enjoying summer to it's full extent on a boat, in a private lake, surrounded by acres of private property.
The house is a $300 000 home at least - with all the latest furnishings, but yet there is no home security device or no telecommunication via fax or computer? These families have it all...obviously, or the kids wouldn't be coming to some country home by car, loaded with food and drink.
If the family had no means of survival, there would not be a reason for the home to be kept up. It would be a shack boarded up with plywood and the boat would be a canoe patched with fiberglass and duct tape.
I'm glad to see the pretty white boys and girls be offed, but that is the part I am tired of watching...the pretty people - all over the screen.
Why not throw in a handicapped person or East Indian or Ukranian speaking friend? Give real character and personality to people or make them all assholes. Maybe somebody who is mute or partially blind.
Give it some real appeal. Give it something special.
Sure it 's nice to see tits and ass and pretty girls topless and buff guys, but it's boring..and overdone.
I would love to see a 400 pound person who has a hard time walking up a flight of stairs come crashing down on somebody and crushing them underneath a table or something.
Yes, sometimes even the "ugly" people can be interesting as well.
Having the mute person try to scream...just flawless.
Having the blind person try to defend themselves - true masterpiece.
Havig different cultures aside from just the pretty white boys and girls makes it so much more interesting.
And...having a slew of household weapons in a garage or basement is far more entertaining than just having a kid pull a gun and use up 15 shots.
Imagine all the gore you can do with a circsaw or weed whacker; a tree pruner or a band saw or something that is used in a real day to day setting.
Car tools, electrical cords, hair dryers....oh all the fun toys that we use on a daily basis which can mutilate us, decapitate us, burn us and over all do some nasty carnage.
Even the simple thing as having a broomstick and a frying pan or a fireplace poker.
Walk around the hardware store and take a good look at your next weapon of choice...it's so much more fun than just pulling a trigger.
Using a butane torch, paint stripper, garden shears, pitchfork, vise grips and every other tool known to an is so much more intense rather than just a bullet to the gut or forehead.
Guns are overused and for the people who have no skill or vision in writing.
Really...let yourself go and become insane for a weekend...your last weapon will be a gun.
This movie starts with a man entering a psychiatrist's office and being
told that he will continue treatment, despite having served his prison
sentence, because he appears to believe that anyone in his situation
would make the same choice that he did - he cut the rope and let his
friends die in a mountain climbing incident that he alone survived. And
so our patient/criminal/psychopath spends the rest of the movie proving
that others would make that decision and his group of unknowing
experimental subjects includes a number of partying teens who soon
start to panic when an ultimatum is delivered - only one of them can be
left alive to leave safely at six a.m. or everyone will die. Will the
friends kill each other to save themselves.
It's not a bad idea, although it's not the most original one, and it's all done with a bit of spit and polish to show that those involved actually tried to make something decent. Sadly, while it's decent it's nothing great.
The direction from Chris Moore is unfussy and services the material but there's not much done to disguise the fact that the movie consists of people becoming suspicious of each other and trying to save their own asses for most of the runtime. Having said that, it's not half bad for his first turn in the big chair. The script, by first-timer Kelly C. Palmer, doesn't do too badly either. Characters are quickly sketched out and we get just what we need to care about who is/may be about to die before things turn violent.
Cast-wise, everyone does okay with what they're given. Agnes Bruckner, Patrick John Flueger, Taryn Manning, Daniel Franzese, etc, have all done enough to be vaguely familiar (I certainly thought I'd seen some of the cast in other movies and recognised Franzese immediately from his great role in Mean Girls) and don't do anything to embarrass themselves here.
There's no special extra oomph here, nothing to make this a must-see, but it's a decent enough time-filler and much better than numerous other horror/thrillers that have been released lately and have focused on some decidedly warped moral compasses. I'd also have to say that the little coda at the end was actually quite enjoyable and made me smile just as the end credits started to roll.
I thought this was decent and better than expected bloody thriller with solid acting but this horror theme is very tiresome and recycled now and is no longer thrilling or scary. I thought it was well paced and had ordinary but very brutal kills but what really stands out in this movie and what makes it interesting is the psychological mind games the characters play on each other and the hard decisions they make in order to survive this twisted cat and mouse game. This is pretty much survival of the fittest for the slasher crowd with a mix of Saw, Scream and Battle Royale but less inventive because in the end nothing really stands out in this and is a forgettable throw away. I does have better production values than previous slashers from after dark horrorfest but like most movies from that fest you won't even remember the name of it in a few years. Overall it had an intriguing tagline, decent but as expected leads, ruthless violence and a harsh psychological, cat and mouse game the characters are forced to play and the final twist which is both the highlight of this otherwise forgettable thriller. Worth at least a rental but not a must see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm from Colombia and i didn't even heard about this movie until the
moment i saw it. it just surprises me that this movie hasn't been show
into the light. it's a thrilling, fast-paced, edge of your seat
thriller. even thought the beginning is slow and clichéd, the other 60
minutes are full of well built tension and strong character
development. it gives you all the stereotypes of horror movies and then
it kind of twisted of. i have to say that if you expect a Saw-esquire
movie, you will be bored because it's not so graphic and the ending is
not so manufactured. it has everything to become a success ( funny
moments,great killings and a great ending). it's incredible that lions
gate hide this one and releases that Dane Cook crap. the only thing
that bothers me a little is the ending . i just, i wasn't expecting it
at all. the other thing was Daniel Franzese's character. really
annoying and out of nowhere.
So if you want to spend a nice ( even thought bloody and thrilling )time this one is just perfect for you. 4 stars out 5
Whilst celebrating a graduation at a secluded vacation home, a group of
college students find themselves targeted by a sadistic killer who
forces them to play a deadly game of killing one another in order to
I was pleasantly surprised to see Agnes Bruckner (who plays Jennifer) was in the cast, being a fan of "The Woods". Oddly, throughout the whole film, I never recognized her. Hmmm.
This movie is a lot like "Saw" (or maybe "Saw II") in that it has people forced to kill others rather than the madman doing the work himself. Kevin Gage even has a very Tobin Bellesque voice, and I have to wonder if he was cast based on the voice alone, since he is rarely on screen.
We are also reminded of "Ten Little Indians", the classic Agatha Christie novel. Many films have borrowed this concept -- I could probably name ten from the last ten years. But it is one growing subgenre of horror I do not mind. Watching with friends, you can pick your favorite character and see if they are the one to be remaining.
The twists and turns are here, too, and you never know who is dead until you are absolutely sure. Sometimes it is only a flesh wound, so expect a few people not to go down so easily. There is also one "major" twist, which I did not find very shocking, but maybe it will excite you more than me (this is one you will have to discover on your own).
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