Hey gang, Valkor here. We’re still taking things at a slow pace here at TOV as we’re still primarily focused on “MediaView”. But soon the other areas will start to pick up and then we can kick 2016 into turbo mode. Next up on the chopping block is a little horror film called “Kill Game” and… it tries. It really does. Oh and heavy spoilers – especially an ending reveal, ahead.
Kill Game centers on a group of five friends – Ryan (Pierson Fode), Nathan (Joe Adler), Blake (Tommy Beardmore), Courtney (Laura Ashley Samuels) and Jesse (Hilary Anderson), who back in high school were huge on pranks. But in the present day, and where the film kicks off, they're attending the funeral of their friend Jimmy, the lead prankster who was killed - hung up by his ankles and burned to a crisp. Initially, it was believed that Jimmy was killed by drug dealers since he may or may not have had some dealings with them. But then weird stuff starts happening to the rest of the group and members start dying by the hands of a mysterious killer in a mask and wig. And it's deduced that all those pranks they played so many years ago might be coming back to haunt them. A couple even goes so far as to apologize to their victims for their past sins - some more forgiving than others.
But one prank in particular that stands out amongst the group involved Ryan, his then girlfriend Beth (Sari Sanchez) and a guy who was in love with Beth named Bobby, which him going all ga-ga for Beth did not sit well with Ryan. So Ryan drugs Bobby and “the joke” was to drag him to the beach, bury him up to his neck in the sand and leave him there to put a scare in him when he awoke. However, Ryan and Beth started screwing around, fell asleep and when they awoke the tide had come in and Bobby went missing. Fast-forward present day and enter Liam (Michael Galante), who is the separated twin brother of Bobby who had come to town to investigate what really happened to his brother. And as the friends start to drop one by one, suspicions run high as to who is actually the killer – is it Liam, is it one of the surviving members of the group or was it someone else from their past, for whom were the victim of one of their pranks? But whoever is the real killer, the film never “really” tells you, which sorta leaves things open for a sequel. Maybe? But head on over to "The Bad" section if you really want to know who did it... sorta.
Kill Game, from what I gathered, started out as a short film called “Prank”. And thinking about it… maybe the film would have worked better as a short. Actually, it also explains how the film opens because it does feel oddly rushed. But I’m getting way ahead of myself and I’ll save the rest for the TOV Breakdown.
I hit a few rough spots with the opening and much of the film’s ending. But the middle, specifically when Liam enters the picture, is when the film starts finding its groove and became something that I could settle in with, without raising too many questions – and the opening alone left me confused and scratching my head. The story is a typical slasher style horror of 20 somethings hunted by a killer looking for revenge for a past event, which isn’t a negative because I go for that style of film and it’s usually on point. But with "Kill Game", it's hit and miss – mostly a miss - but I wasn’t bored watching it. I thought the killer was cool and definitely a new fav. And how it worked out at the end… I expected the killer to be someone in the group. And when that turned out not to be the case, I was a little disappointed. And then the film does something, which turns out to be a dream sequence and I’m like “Fuck! That would have been awesome”. And THEN it turns to someone who is “maybe” the killer and that’s such a downer overall. Still the killer, with his look, is still cool and I wouldn’t mind seeing him/her again in a more fleshed out film. The gore was also pretty gruesome such as watching Jimmy burned to a crisp, or the killer entering a hospital, slashing up the place. And what the killer does to Jesse as she's lying on the hospital bed as she was in the midst of an operation will make you cringe!
First up is the opening, which has zero set up and jumps straight away with the group pondering in suspicion over who sent pizzas to their luncheon – with creepy, ominous music in tow and everyone on edge. Why is that such a creepy thing? Why can’t there be a hand in one of the boxes or special notes for each of these guys (five boxes – five people), something to set up the creepiness of this scene, but it's just a nervous delivery guy... delivering pizza. To me, that's just silly. If this equates to the short being integrated into a much larger film, then it would have been better to start over rather than build upon what was already done, because that first 20min. was rough. Then there’s the ending - this film does not know how to end. First the film points a finger at Ryan and I think… OK, I’m with that. Then Nathan is killed by who I thought was Ryan and but it turned out to be someone else. Okaaaaay. This then leads into Beth in the hospital, surrounded by all the people who were pranked when they were in High School, which points a finger at all these people being the killer. And I'm like WHOA! That's awesome!! But that turned out to be a dream sequence! Fuck! Finally, as Beth makes a break for NYC, the camera points towards a character seen earlier in the film, smiling and holding a box. Is this person the killer? I can't say for sure nor do we get to see what's in the box he's holding that the camera focuses on. So are we to assume it's the mask and wig? Then why not show it? Honestly, it would have been better if it ended with all the pranked people being linked to the killer; for that brief moment, I was blown away. But when it turned out to be a dream? All… My… Rage! Finally, when Nathan gets his hand blown up… was that the Wilhelm scream? Why was that there?
Crispy Jimmy is crispy!
Kill Game is available now on DVD and Digital On-Demand. And it’s not the worst film I’ve seen, but the experience would have been more enjoyable had certain areas been worked on to helped the film mesh better. Sure the killer looks cool but other than that the film was pretty dismal overall. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Kill Time a generous 2.