Recently heartbroken, Simon travels to Paris to clear his head. After several days of wandering aimlessly, Simon finds himself drawn into a sex parlor and has a sexual encounter with an exotic prostitute, Victoria. The chemistry builds between the two until they find themselves in a serious relationship, one that leads to blackmail, betrayal and the ultimate revelation of Simon's true nature.Written by
Simon Killer is the new Psychological thriller by Antonio Campos, the film follows Simon (played by Bradley Corbet) as he travels in Paris trying to forget about his girlfriend, whom he had just broken up wit, after staying together. One night as he wonders about he comes to a strip club, where he meets the stripper/prostitute Noura. (Played by Mati Diop.) Simon quickly falls in love with Noura and finds it difficult to spend time away from her and becomes jealous of the fact that she has to sleep with other men for her job. So to try and fix the situation he proposes that she should black mail one of the married men that come for her services. She reluctantly accepts, and they start their working on their trap, needless to say things do not go according to plan.
Simon Killer is a very slow film, and sometimes it's pace works and other times it doesn't. Antonio Campos tries to lull you in with a slow hypnotic pace, working mainly through repetition and dream-like passage of time. The film does a good job of bringing you in with its pace, but unfortunately starts to lose its audience around the half way point. The film becomes very tedious with its repetition and we're not quite sure who we're supposed to be rooting for. The characters motivations become muddled and you're not sure what's going on or why. This works for some films, like Caché or The Virgin Suicides, but films like the ones previously mentioned always give the audience enough to peak there interest and make them want to figure out the rest of the film. Simon Killer doesn't ever do this, so most of the film ends up being pretty forgettable.
But I should give credit where credit is due. First of all Bradley Corbet does a great job as the introverted Simon. He is able to create this character that just doesn't feel right, from the second we see him we can tell that something is just wrong. Antonio Campos also has some excellent camera work, for most of the scenes the camera is set almost completely still, and if there is movement it's typically a slow zoom in/out, or a slow pan to the left or right. The effect is something unnerving, and the cinematography in general is very similar to the cinematography in Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation. i.e. creates a sense of paranoia. Overall I'd say Simon Killer had some good ideas, they just need to be more developed. If you're into slow dark psychological films I'd say it's worth checking out.
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