Take your basic slasher movie formula of characters: the rebellious bad boy douche bag, his voluptuous girlfriend, the all-American boy and his voluptuous/horny girlfriend, the wild dumbass and his forgettable girlfriend, the fat guy without a date, and the “hey, I didn’t know you were going to be here” tough girl with washboard abs who has no intent of doing the fat guy. Mix in a sadistic psychopath and a remote setting in a house in the woods. And you have your basic slasher film so perfected in the 80’s. Throw in a Saw-like premise where the psychopath doesn’t necessarily want to do all of the killing on his own, but rather force the group of friends to try and kill each other by 6:00 am so only one person survives. Otherwise the whole group gets annihilated. If your hypothesis was Kill Theory, you would be correct.
Kill Theory, the directorial debut of Chris Palmer, tries to mix in new twists and turns to the slasher genre, while retaining a lot of the same basic formulas. There is a twist in the end, but it’s almost an afterthought. The whole premise starts out with a man in therapy as part of his rehabilitation after having gone to jail. We learn he was jailed for cutting the rock climbing rope when he and his three friends were dangling over a cliff in order to save himself. In other words, he sacrificed his three friends for himself. And so his therapist tries to convince him that his decision was not the right choice and to have him admit he would not make the same choice if given the opportunity. And so it begins…
Clearly he took the words to heart when our patient decides to screw with a bunch of drunk college seniors who are spending the weekend at the rebellious douche bag’s vacation home and plan on drinking a whole lot and getting their freak on. Well, everyone but the blatant fat guy who came date free. And seriously, nothing against fat guys, but if you were “that guy” and asked to spend a weekend with your buddies while they bang their hot girlfriends, wouldn’t you say no? I mean, come on, we all know you’ll end up dead at some point. Here’s some horror math for you:
Lonely fat guy + Friends with Hot Girlfriends + Remote Vacation House = Guaranteed Brutal Death
Ok, ok, I’ll stop harping on that. But honestly, that’s analogous with the film. It’s more or less the same storyline. Yes, adding the whole “you must kill off your friends and be the only survivor by 6 am” piece was a nice touch. However, when half of the people end up dying by the hands of the psychopath anyway, it’s kind of smolders your flame a little. Couple that with way too much dialogue among characters about the predicament they are in and the obvious decisions made by most of the cast members, then you have a film with potential that tends to not support the theory it was intended to do. The production quality and some of the death scenes were decent, but nothing to write home about. Overall, I’d say it’s worth passing time on a random Saturday afternoon. But it’s nothing you need to run out and rent.