- 1h 29min
A mild-mannered psychopath plays mind-games with a woman he has tied to a chair in his basement.A mild-mannered psychopath plays mind-games with a woman he has tied to a chair in his basement.A mild-mannered psychopath plays mind-games with a woman he has tied to a chair in his basement.
The basic premise of Killing Words involves a serial killer, Ramon, kidnapping his ex-wife with the intention of making her his 19th victim. The catch is that Laura is a psychiatrist and basically, if she can "cure" him, she will survive. This set-up begins promisingly with Ramon showing Laura detailed video-confessions outlining his murders and a tense word game, played for the prize of Laura being allowed to keep her eyes in her head. The film starts to unravel, however, when Ramon claims to both the police and Laura that the tapes were fake and that the whole act has been a hoax to get revenge on Laura for lying about him during their divorce proceedings. While this "twist" is interesting to the extent that it raises the question as to whether Ramon is simply a twisted loser instead of a psychopath, it has the unwanted effect of draining away all the tension and suspense that the film had been building. In one fell swoop, this film transforms from a Spanish "Silence Of The Lambs" to a poorly produced episode of "Murder, She Wrote".
The film is not helped by Dario Grandinetti's over the top performance as Ramon. Grandinetti's performance is initially restrained but increasingly becomes an exercise in making crazy eyes and smirking for the camera. Goya Toledo fares better as Laura, helping give the film some much needed credibility. Veteran actor Fernando Guillen also turns in another fine performance as the Comisario. However, these compelling performances can not overcome the pedestrian screenplay which contains too many plot twists and not enough suspense. With the exception of the refreshingly perverse ending, the film has virtually no shock value and should be avoided by horror fans.
Killing Words is an example of a film that starts well but becomes entangled in its own web of twists and inconsistencies. If you feel like a Spanish thriller with some bite, watch "The Nameless" or "Tesis".
- Apr 22, 2006