The premise of Kicks intrigued me. Two girls who obsess over a Liverpudlian football player (Lee) take their obsession too far. It sounded like a cross between The Loved Ones and Misery (which I both love) although I knew it was more of a dark drama than a horror film. However, I believe it would've benefited delving into straight, crazy horror!
Kicks does begin with intrigue, it sets up two characters nicely and the Liverpool setting is something different and rarely used in films. I thought the obsession was brilliantly done, often chilling with make-shift tattoos and a picture of Lee under the quilt. I also thought that the characters were explored in-depth and with a sense of ambiguity about them. Unfortunately Kicks lacks the narrative drive that it desperately needed. It begins to ponder after half an hour and once it does look like things are getting thrilling, they quickly become repetitive and dull.
The first half is very realistically done, whereas the second half turns into something over the top, which is fine, accept that it presents itself as something believable and so lacked the crazy fun The Loved Ones was able to offer. I believe that it should've indulged itself in horror to make it extremely twisted and more entertaining. Instead the ball runs to a stand-still and you end up feeling as fed up as Lee.
The acting is quite shaky with an extremely wooden performance from Lee, but that shouldn't worry you too much. What you must appreciate here is the brilliant central relationship and the message about celebrity culture. My sister has an unhealthy obsession with Helena Bonham Carter and Lady Gaga, making it all the more chilling for me as I believe she would do something like this! However, it does become too far-fetched without making anything fun out of it. It's worth a watch but is unfortunately a piece of wasted potential.
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