Horror, Slasher

Killervision (2011)

Comments Off on Killervision (2011) 20 January 2015

killervision

Studio:  21 Black Entertainment

Distributed By:  Brain Damage Films

DVD Release:  July 1, 2014

Director:  Dale Trott

Rating:  Not Rated

Reviewed By James M. Dubs

I’ll watch anything…including Killervision.

Here we are…  I’m finally finishing my reviews to round out the Midnight Releasing/Brain Damage “slasherthon” that I began back in late October 2014 that included Sledge, The Bunnyman Massacre, Blood Widow, and finally the topic of this review, the 2011 Australian import, Killervision.

Considering so much time has passed from screening to critique, the question I ask myself is, will I be able to recall anything from the film to offer any shred of opinion?

Film Rating: ★★☆☆☆

KV_1Jared has just about everything: a cute girl named Shelby, smarts, he’s athletic, and the future holds promise as he prepares for the next chapter of his life. We first encounter the duo smooching on a friend’s back porch when Preston, Shelby’s brother, interrupts them to declare that it’s late and he’s going home, which means so is Jared and Shelby. Inebriated and high, Preston insists on driving, and despite Jared’s reluctance, Jared, Shelby, and a couple of additional friends still choose to pile into the car.

As the morning sun rises, Preston decides to show off by driving at incredibly stupid high speeds even as Shelby implores him to slow down. It comes as no surprise when a stalled, roadside car appears suddenly around a corner, causing an accident. The teens seem to survive, but not without damage.

Flash forward six months and Jared is living at home with mom, a victim of brain trauma that has apparently impaired his mental and physical prowess. One of Jared’s escape mechanisms is to watch late night b-movies with Shelby, but just as Shelby seems to slip into slumber, Jared experiences visions through his TV screen. The movie scenes transform to depict a hooded, masked killer and the actors replaced by people in Jared’s own life. Jared’s broken mind is confused by these images, but confusion turns to fear when the movies become fulfilled prophecies with Jared’s friends falling victim to the mysterious killer. Who is hunting Jared’s friends, why, and what can Jared and Shelby do to stop the bloodshed?

KV_3I find it most comical that Shelby seems to fall asleep every time Jared has a vision, especially considering I had to fight off the impulse for a nice cat-nap through most of Killervision. I don’t hate Killervision. I simply found it to be a complete bore, but for me that’s almost worse than being delightfully horrible. Unfortunately, Killervision is routinely forgettable in almost every sense.

Of the four movies I screened, I can recall major events in each of them for various and different reasons. Bunnyman can’t be forgotten because…well he’s a chainsaw wielding Bunnyman. Blood Widow, although completely and generically stock horror, at least includes a handful of memorable kills. Furthermore, the Blood Widow’s costume design does resonate on a basic level. And then there’s Sledge which fails on all fronts but is at least memorable because it is a complete and total crash n’ burn misfire. At best, Killervision may leave you with a shrug-of-the-shoulders feeling. At worst, you’ll pass out on the couch like Shelby from general malaise.

Of the four films, Killervision attempts to raise the bar in the story and script department by offering something a bit more cerebral, but ultimately fails because the script relies too heavily on dialogue to convey information. A majority of the scenes are spent with Jared sitting around, moping, and complaining about how he’s not as smart or physically capable as before the crash. Unfortunately Dale Trott’s weak directing puts Jared in a number of situations where he doesn’t seem that stupid, or that impaired. Sometimes he walks with a cane. Sometimes he doesn’t. Jared can carry on a coherent conversation, but most of these conversations are in the form of an argument. All of this together makes you begin to despise Jared as a whiny cry-baby.

The listless direction pollutes other aspects of the film, including the killer. The killer is beyond generic, and about as frightening as a black man in a hoodie. Oh wait…

KV_2Perhaps George Zimmerman would be afraid of this masked killer, but for average movie going folk, this costume design does not elicit fear or dread in the slightest.

Acting is okay…at least passable, for the horror genre. Susie Kazda, who plays Shelby, is perhaps the standout performance of the group, but that’s not saying much. And as I said before, there are a lot of arguments which makes the majority of the cast pretty detestable. Whether anyone lives or dies becomes a matter of routine and you’ll hardly bat an eye as the cast drop off.

Despite all of these movie sins, the filmmakers hope that you can keep your eyelids open long enough to reach the film’s climax where they hope to give you a jaw-dropping moment evocative of films like Psycho, Soylent Green, The Sixth Sense, or even Fight Club. And without giving away the “twist”, which might have worked with tighter scripting and capable directing, the reveal feels like such a lazy cheat that the viewer suddenly feels Killervision’s runtime (which will feel like 3 hours instead of the actual 1 hour and 34 minutes). On the plus side, look forward to the sense of relief you will experience when you realize that you only lost an hour and a half of your life.

Video & Audio Rating: ★★☆☆☆

KV_4The best descriptor I can conjure for describing the technical merits of Killervision: It looks, sounds, and feels like a amateur college thesis film. I mean this in neither a bad or good sense, it simply is what it is. The image looks like a standard definition video source and the stereo audio mix sounds like it was produced on a pro-sumer system with an average but not good/great editor (also Dale Trott). It’s passable for low-rent DVD, but in the age of digital HD and Dolby Atmos immersive sound, Killervision cannot compete with the films it aspires to emulate.

Extras Rating: ★★☆☆☆

KV_6Extras include:

  • Behind the Scenes (17:32): Moderately interesting featurette that gives the viewer a small glimpse of the behind the scenes work. A majority of it contains interviews with cast.
  • Mini Movies: Five of the scenes/movies that Jared watches in Killervision are here in their filmed entirety. None of them are particularly good, but considering they play a key role in Jared’s dementia it serves as an interesting companion piece for people wanting to further explore the production complexities.
  • Behind the Mini Movies (7:37): It’s exactly as it sounds and on par with the longer behind the scenes featurette.

Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆

KV_5Obviously I remember enough about Killervision to lob plenty of criticisms, but that’s my job. The average audience may not be so forgiving. I feel like I have pulled my punches when it comes to this quartet of films (Sledge, The Bunnyman Massacre, Blood Widow, and Killervision). Part of that certainly comes from my desire to see low budget movies succeed. Part of it comes from a first-hand understanding of how hard it is making great films. I’m aware I’ve probably graded these films on a sliding scale much in the same way you might adjust your expectations based on your preconceived notions. However, at the end of the day there are a lot of movies to choose from and Killervision falls into a bin of titles that largely only get seen by critics or people with exorbitant amounts of time. Killervision isn’t the worst movie I have ever seen, but it is among some of the most forgettable and dull. Remembering the details of Killervision took some work on my part, but unfortunately forgetting Killervision all together will take zero effort.

Author

- who has written 65 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed - popular, obscure, independent, etc. He'll watch anything for you.

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