Killer Concept Movie Review
Written by Joanna K. Neilson
Released by Dead Leaf Productions
Directed by Glenn Payne
Written by Casey Dillard
2021, 81 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 20th July 2021
Cody Bishop as Flower Shop Guy
Coley Bryant as Seth
Casey Dillard as Holly
Caleb Hall as Brian
When a spate of brutal murders erupts in their town, a group of wannabe filmmakers get together to try and spin it into a horror movie script. But, as they argue over the morality of using the case, and analyse why all the victims have flower-related names, they’re pretty slow to realise that the real danger is a lot closer than they’d ever assumed.
This is actually pretty good. A ‘meta-killer-thriller’ with a decent cast and a bone-dry sense of humour. The idea is completely solid, the cast is likeable and it’s a very fun story that hasn’t really been explored before – though it feels like Alfred Hitchcock came close to the concept more than once. Still, the story feels pretty original, and while the twist might not surprise anyone, as it’s revealed almost at once – and it’s pretty obvious – the real twist is how it all plays out.
So, once we’ve had the big reveal, this becomes a character study more than anything else. Albeit one with brutal murder, stalking and a slow build-up of ‘oh crap’ moments that just about pay off in a good way. The tension is nicely built as more history gets uncovered and an obsession becomes lethal. Then it all screeches to a halt just as it begins to get really interesting – right at the point where most Hollywood movies would probably throw in a violent, final act showdown.
On its way to that good, but not quite great, finale, it’s just a bit too fond of navel-gazing about its witty concept. Exploiting a series of murders as they're happening is bad, but all the second-guessing and self-awareness is somehow worse.
There are still some great performances here and, frustratingly, this is a good story. However, it really could have been something exceptional if it had a few thousand more bucks in its overstrained budget. As it stands, it just comes off as far too dry in delivery, lacking the exhilaration or panache it really needs to make itself memorable or compelling. A more vital musical score, for example, would have helped it to break free of those restrictions.
Instead, Killer Concept is a very solid, workmanlike thriller, a little bit more unusual than most and clearly created with love and ability. It only needs a bit more polish to bring it up to something compelling and unmissable, but it certainly isn’t that far off the mark.
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