Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Some Guy Who Kills People (2011)
It is indeed about some guy who kills people, but the plot it much more developed than the oversimplified title implies. That is to say, there is much more substance to the story of the film than the supposed generic slasher or meta-film usually carries with it. In some ways it is a dual character study of the lead guy and lead gal, whose life experiences come to mirror each other. From the opening shots we are pulled into the psychology of the central character, Ken (Kevin Corrigan), who manages to be interesting despite the demands of his role. Because we've seen the misunderstood, bullied, loner character a million times. But Kevin Corrigan breathes new life into the archetype; and in addition, Amy (Ariel Glade) absolutely lights up the screen with a dazzling contrast-character that compliments Ken with optimism and spot-on humor.
In terms of aesthetics, the film is well shot--crisp, clean compositions--and the transitions are quick, nearly abrupt, which works to keep the plot driving and the viewer more and more engaged. I can say that gore hounds looking for graphic kills and interesting violent effects should abandon their expectations, though I, myself, found it easy to trade expectations of effects and violent intensity for the main purposes of the film--these purposes being more in-line with the psychological thriller subgenre. Again, thinking of the film's title, the film is a satire, and satire's main purpose is keep the user moving with the speed of the story, as quickly as possible, without lingering on anything too long. Thus, whether something dark and despairing happens or something light and jokey happens, they are both treated equally, both taken just as (un)seriously as the other. In poetry, for example, there are certain metres that work better for satire for this very reason: the rhythm makes the reading quicker. Or think of Voltaire's Candide, which is full of terrible events, but the events are narrated without any emotion, which works to make it absurdly humorous. Such is the foundation of the satire.
And speaking of satire, the black humor in this flick is perfectly executed, especially with the two cop characters. These two kept me laughing almost every time they were on the screen. These stock characters also appear, at first, to be just that: stock characters; but they end up being fresh, just like the lead character, Ken. The elder officer at first appears to be the typical unprofessional, small-town officer who overlooks the obvious, but then we're constantly witnessing that he in fact is quite brainy and sharp. The way in which this is executed on-screen caused me to really laugh--as in a deep belly laugh that caused me to have to rewind a little bit so as not to miss any subsequent dialogue. For anyone who's seen the movie, how funny is this part concerning the elder officer's description of the killer's tableau: "Surrealism. Dada."?
So, to sum up, this is certainly a movie worth seeing. And it should reach out and be effective with audiences who aren't into horror movies (e.g. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil), though, of course, experience with the conventions of slasher movies will enhance the experience. Then again, the movie I watched before this one was Baby Blues (review forthcoming), so perhaps SGWKP really worked on me because I needed some comic relief from the darker Baby Blues. In any case, if you want a film that is a balanced mix of humor, plot, and character development, packaged as a satiric psychothriller, then you will do well to procure Some Guy Who Kills People and give it a watch.