Kill Theory DVD
DIRECTOR: Chris Moore
STARRING: Agnes Bruckner, Patrick John Flueger, Taryn Manning, Daniel Franzese, Teddy Dunn, Ryanne Duzich, Steffi Wickens, Theo Rossi, Kevin Gage
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: March 23, 2010
For four straight years now, After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For has been unleashed. Eight original horror films to quench your thirst for blood and gore and screams galore. Last year I was able to check out and review their third collection of horrors (Read: DVD Review: After Dark Horrorfest III: 8 Films To Die For), and was rather excited to check out their new slate this year! Instead of cramming every review into one mammoth review, this year we’ll take it one flick at a time, with this little opener stuck at the top of each one.
Picture yourself at a party with all of your closest friends. You’re drinking, laughing, and having an all-around great time. Suddenly, you awake to the sounds of screaming and realize one of your friends is dead, and if you don’t kill the rest of your closest friends, you all die. This is the dilemma facing the characters of Kill Theory.
This particular group of close friends are celebrating their upcoming college graduation before intoxication lures them into sleep. Horrific screams wake them up, and they make the gruesome discovery that one of them has been murdered. The body has a message on it prompting them to turn on the TV, and they are informed that a psychotic killer is now holding them hostage. The house is surrounded by deadly traps and there’s no way out. The only option? Kill each other. If one of them is alive when the clock hits 6:00am, that person goes free. If more than one is still alive, they all die.
This a movie that reminded me of a side quest in the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (“Whodunit?” of the Dark Brotherhood missions), or maybe even the board game/movie Clue…to some sick and twisted extreme level, of course. But in any case, I really enjoyed it. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s one of those movies that offers a situation that you can place yourself in, and that enhances the fear factor many times over.
Kill Theory is jam-packed with tools and characters you’ve seen a thousand times, but with new faces, a tweak here and there, a bad guy you would not want to meet in even the sunniest of locations (though his motives are a tad unstable), and the hope that you love yourself a horror movie, it somehow finds a way to be pretty entertaining in the end.
Speaking of the bad guy’s motives, let’s touch on that for a moment. This is a man that clearly is presented in the same light as all of our favorite slasher killers, though of mortal standing (so far). Much like Jason Voorhees and company, you could take this man and have him do what he does in this movie over and over if sequels are ordered. And yes, repetition would be overwhelming, but when has that ever stopped anyone before? The problem — and I don’t think this is much of a spoiler as the movie opens with it…fear not — is that it’s hard to see why the dude is so comfortable with what he’s doing. The situation they present us with is that he’s imprisoned after killing some of his friends. The reason he killed said friends was because they were all mountain climbing, the rope couldn’t hold all of their weight, and he — being at the top of the line — had to decide whether to cut them loose and live, or fall with the rest of them.
That’s a choice no one wants to make, but it doesn’t feel like one that would turn someone into a psycho killer to me. The ENTIRE movie is based on this obsession with testing people to see if they could kill their closest friends in order to survive, but to think a mountain climbing incident created this obsession is just a little hard to imagine. Other than that I like the concept, and the madman’s reasons for testing this group of kids eventually makes sense, but I just wish the back story for why this man was the savage (yet strangely philosophical) taker of lives he is was a little more brutal.
There are a couple of “twists” at the end that felt a little off for me personally, but nothing that takes away from where the story was going or the overall product. Kill Theory was directed by Chris Moore (who any of you Project Greenlight fans might recognize as a producer), who is making his feature debut, and I think he did a really solid job delivering an entertaining psychological horror movie well worth taking a peek at. So long as you can drink a beverage you’ve consumed numerous times before in the name of entertainment.
As far as special features go, you will find a few on this disc. The main one is a behind the scenes featurette that looks at the making of the movie with chats with the cast and crew. You’ll also find an alternate opening to Kill Theory and some deleted scenes as well.