Kill (2011) – By Duane L. Martin

Six strangers wake up to find themselves in a creepy house decorated like it was set up for a Hawaiian theme party. They were drugged, so they have no idea how they got there, or who they’re with. The only common factor between them is that they had each won a tropical vacation and were on their way there with their spouses when they woke up in the house. Suddenly, a wounded man climbs the stairs and enters the room. They help the guy in whatever way they can, but as they start to explore the house looking for help, they find that they’re completely sealed in. Not only that, but they’re being tormented by men in tiki masks, as well as a voice that pops out of an intercom system now and then and provides bits of commentary as they’re watched by video cameras spread throughout the house. As if that’s not enough, they find notes saying that the only way to escape with their lives is to kill everyone else in the group. The last one to survive will be allowed to leave…so the notes claim. As their relationship devolves into one of mistrust and violence, even the most kind hearted of the group discovers that killing is the only way to survive.

Kill was released by Troma, and was actually better than I expected it to be. While the story was relatively weak, and the acting was sort of a mixed bag between average and good, the film taken as a whole was somewhat interesting. Watching the dynamics between the characters change and evolve as things continue to become more and more desperate makes for an interesting character study, and it was actually played out really well. The violence and gore in the film were also done quite well.

As for the negatives of the film…

The set design was horrible and confusing. The film takes place in a sealed up house, but there’s decorations all over the place, and the whole setting just felt confused. The film as a whole is WAY too long for the story, which makes for horribly slow pacing. It unfortunately just really really feels like its dragging at times, and will likely have you reaching for the fast forward button. The ending of the film, while it does bring the film full circle back to the beginning, is also extremely weak, and really just doesn’t work. It would have worked better if they had just mysteriously had it come full circle without any real explanation, because the explanation there was was just so out of place as to be laughable.

In the end, it’s the acting and dynamics between the characters that saves this film from being horrible, and much of the thanks in that area can be given to the cast. I said that the quality of the acting ranged from average to good, but most of them were actually quite good, with only a couple of exceptions. It was the quality of the acting that really sold the dynamics between the characters, and the cast should be commended for that. Unfortunately, the slow pacing and horrible ending are really what hurt this film the most, and while it’s not a horrible film, it’s also not one that’d I’d go out of my way to see again.

This film is available on DVD from Amazon here if you’d like to pick yourself up a copy.