Kill Theory (2009}
Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Starring Don McManus, Ryanne Duzich, Teddy Dunn, Daniel Franzese, Agnes Bruckner, Patrick Flueger
Directed by Chris Moore
I have to say the Saw franchise is a little over-the-top with its ingenious traps and twisted labyrinths of human psychology. But while those films are as sadistic as they come, sometimes simpler is better. Case in point, a simple recipe for mayhem: Take eight people, put them in an isolated cabin, and tell them that only one of them can survive. If more than one person is alive by the next morning, they all die. Then watch the fun.
Kill Theory is a smart movie in that it doesn't rely on stereotypes, generalizations, or archetypes to get its point across. The eight people, though good-looking enough, are surprisingly normal best friends. Hiding in the woods is a recently released psych patient, who was in the booby-hatch because he sacrificed his friends to save himself during a mountain climbing expedition. He hands them the rules of his game and watches. It's amazing how quickly and how ferociously they turn on one another.
The reactions captured on the screen are very realistic in my opinion, especially from Daniel Franzese, who plays the overweight but still loved Freddy. Whether he's screaming in hysteria or putting Tabasco in someone's burger, he comes across as the kind of person we all know. Add to that good work from most of the rest of the cast, and the house soon becomes a pressure-cooker of tension and mayhem.
Most impressive is this: You will not see the end coming. I'm not going to spoil it, but it's a slap in the noggin. There are questions asked at the beginning that are answered in one brief second of film, and it shows how the writer really paid attention to detail.
Kill Theory is worth the price of admission and will make you look at your friends in a different way.
4 1/2 out of 5
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