Kill Game (2015) **
D: Robert Mearns
C: Pierson Fode, Sari Sanchez, Michael Galante, Laura Ashley Samuels, Tommy Beardmore, Mouzam Makkar, Nathan Ross Murphy, Brian Christensen, Lindsay Rootare, Joe Adler, Patricia Urbonas Clark, Ryan Carr
Plot Synopsis: A group of high school kids amuse themselves by pulling pranks on unsuspecting students and teachers. One night, a prank goes horribly wrong and a teenager is killed. The gang covers it up as a drowning accident, but five years later their lives are turned upside down when a serial killer wearing a haunting Marilyn Monroe mask starts killing them one by one in manners mirroring the pranks they pulled in high school.
Review: The premise behind Kill Game is simple enough. A group of friends are being picked off by a killer who wants revenge for something that went down back in their high school years. The only problem in trying to figure out the identity of the killer is that this group of friends bullied just about everyone around them.
After establishing the premise, Kill Game follows the group as they try to recount every person that they bullied. Then we watch as the group tries to apologize to all of these individuals for their misdeeds. Every once in a while, there's a killing. Then the group of friends argue about what to do. Then this scenario plays out a second, a third, a forth ...well you get the point.
There also happens to be a reporter who's trying to piece together what exactly happened as these murders are occurring. As if that wasn't enough, the brother of one of their victims, who died as a result of one of these pranks, has just happened to show up at the same time as these killings are occurring. Oh, and by the way, there's not one ending, not two endings, but three endings!
What I'm getting at is that Kill Game takes a fairly straight forward premise and clutters it up with an endless amount of plot complications. Some scenes feel unnecessary. Other scenes drag on far longer then necessary and other scenes aren't fully developed. For example, the group suspects that it could be not one, not two, not three, not four, but at least five different people that could be behind these killings.
As a result, we have to watch as someone recounts what they did to that suspect and then we watch as they either try to apologize to that person or investigate them. Because of this, Kill Game is never able to get any momentum going, the pacing always feels off, suspense waivers and eventually falls flat as one repetitive situation after another plays out.
Not all is lost though. The costuming of the killer is quite effective and could've been worthy of their own franchise in a better movie. The cast shows real potential with Pierson Fode, Michael Galante & Tommy Beardmore being particular standouts. The premise, minus the clutter and even though it's a bit familiar, is a solid one in that they could've generated suspense in horror type scenarios, but they could've milked it for some additional thrills in having the characters being paranoid about their environment and what's going on around them.
The people behind Kill Game know what it takes to make a good horror film. They just don't know how to make a good horror film. [Not Rated] 102 minutes.
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