“Slasher films” have always had a special place in my heart. As a youngster, I enjoyed the original Friday the 13th series, Freddy Krueger was intriguing and Michael Myers scared the be-Jesus out of me with his stony silence and single-minded killing style. Though all of these movies and many others of the type have given me chills and I’ve jumped more than a few times, they never terrified me. For me, it was more about the psychology and the special effects than getting caught up in the slaughter.
Getting caught up in the slaughter will not happen with Killer Movie. It is a slasher film for the MTV/ Laguna beach/ The Hills crowd. A group that I am too old to be allowed to hang with, thank god. In fact, the premise of the story is a film crew is sent to White Plains, North Dakota to make a Reality TV show about the town’s High School hockey team’s run at the State Championship. From this point on is where the story gets convoluted. Blanca Champion, played decently by Kaley Cuoco (8 Simple Rules, Big Bang Theory), is a Paris Hilton/ Lindsey Lohan train-wreck hybrid who is sent by her agent to work the show to get out of L.A. and the PR nightmare she’s created for herself.
All the typical attitude and clothes (or lack thereof) are present. She tries to get with the star forward on the hockey team, but he’s still distraught over the death of his girlfriend in an “accident” involving a four wheeled ATV and some barbed wire. You get the picture. A lot of said “accidents” happen around White Plains but no one seems to think, “Oh my god, I think these might not be accidents." Instead their thinking, "Maybe I should go into that dark cabin all alone.”
Town folk and crew begin to drop like flies, including the bi-sexual super bitch producer of the show that wants to secretly make the show less about a “piss ant hockey team in the run for the Championship.” She is the only character that I actually hoped that would die. The director, a hair product overloaded 90210 wannabe played by Paul Wesley, finally does start putting two and two together, but by then it’s too late to save people or this movie.
The only interesting (I use that term here very loosely) characters are Mike the douche bag cameraman, played by Mallrats Jason London and the stoner surfer dude personal assistant that looks and acts like Screech from Saved By The Bell.
Killer Movie is what you would expect from a slasher film now that the genre is nearing forty years old; it has a maniac running around wearing gray coveralls and a mask killing supposed innocents, there is overacting and even more over the top dialogue, there is sex (and of course they always die) and the psycho may or may not be dead at the end, leaving room for a sequel.
There is no new ideas explored in Killer Movie. The choice of location in White Plains with it’s rustic cabins, dense forests and nighttime fog is a trip back to Jason Voorhees’ home of Crystal Lake, the pretty people cast is Scream all over again and the dialogue and phoned in storyline is the crap of I Know What You Did Last Summer. All of these things could be meant as an homage to the director Jeff Fisher’s love of the genre but more than likely, the happenstance of these things is an attempt to give “new” ideas to a target audience that is too young to realize it’s all rehash of the past. With all this criticism about the mediocre story and lackluster production value one would think I hated this film, right? Not exactly.
Though as a fan of the slasher genre I felt cheated by the sheer lack of imagination and the high level of cliché, I kind of expected it. Let’s face it, all slashers are a bit clichéd and there are only so many ways to cut someone in half. Killer Movie may not be the greatest slasher film of all time but it’s not the worst either. So get some popcorn, sit back and waste 91 minutes of your life. Happy Friday the 13th.