The Thrill of a Kill~ Lars-Erik Lie, 2011, Norway
Remember the foreign exchange program from high school? What a great idea, right? Your school sends off it’s best and brightest to be immersed in a foreign culture for a full year, and in exchange, that country would send some exotic baddass from their ranks to come hang out in your boring town for a while, and everyone would be super psyched about it. Usually. Sometimes it didn’t really work out so well. Sometimes, you’d send off the third hottest cheerleader you had, and in return, you’d get some attic dwelling troglodyte who wrote Lego-land fan fiction. I can almost hear Belgium laughing their, deep, guttural, Flemish guffaws, even now. They’ve made a fool of you… You just know they could not wait to drop that kid like a burning sack of garbage the first chance they got.
That’s sort of how I feel about The Thrill of a Kill. At first glance, this promises to be Norway’s answer to Violent Shit, and damn, is that ever overdue. But then you dig in, give it a watch, and you quickly find out that that isn’t what you have here at all. Somehow, Violent Shit is like…. BETTER. Very much so. The Thrill of a Kill is a very specific kind of disappointment. It’s the motion picture equivalent of the foreign exchange student that your principal tried to send back.
THE PLOT~ Kimsy is whatever passes for “Goth” in Norway, which somehow is even lamer than the Domesticated American Goth. She’s a snotty, miserable little shit who mopes around the house all day, wretched and unemployable, and I’m assuming is really into Japanese cartoons. Feels like a safe assumption. Anyway, this is your main character. Aren’t you just elated? It’s unfortunate for Kimsy that her mother is about as big a fan of her as you and I are.
As seen here.
Basically, mom’s had it up to her Nordic nostrils with Kimsy’s bullshit. “Why can’t you get a job like your equally gothy, yet somehow less worthless older sister?” Mom yells. “Fuck this,” thinks Kimsy, no longer able to tolerate her mother’s reasonable exasperation with her lifestyle choices. In a fit of rage both childish and boring, Kimsy, simple minded and angry at the world, grabs her nerd headphones, cranks up her unlistenable jams, and trudges out into the picturesque Norwegian forest to blow off some steam. We all know, however, that no steam is to be blown off today. No, rather, Kimsy is about to bumble into a situation which will do little to alleviate her stress level, for it is here, deep in the wilderness (I guess) that Kimsy falls into a deadly game of cat and whatever Norwegian cats eat with our film’s exciting movie murderer; Just Some Dude.
As seen here.
Yep, our killer is truly nothing to write home about, folks. He’s just some pudgy, Norwegian dork who basically looks like the assistant manager of your local geek squad. He’s the kind of guy who, at the age of 42, likely has nothing whatsoever in his 401K, but who probably owns three replica swords from the Highlander movie series. This is perhaps the film’s most confusing shortcoming, it gives us a protagonist we can’t stand, and an antagonist we won’t even remember. Not off to an ideal start, Norway. Really expected better.
Anyhow. We spend sort of a long time learning the ins and outs of this loser’s back story, which is far from thrilling, but at least they’re trying. Turns out, our weird, murderous loser was the son of a single mother, who basically abused and neglected the shit out of him throughout his entire childhood, because she really wanted to focus on her career (prostitution.) Over time, this unhealthy environment transformed what might have been a perfectly adequate D&D dungeon master into a ACTUAL dungeon master, and our bad guy eventually learns to embrace a lifestyle of murder and misanthropy, as so many of us do… So I guess it goes without saying that Norwegian CPS really screwed the pooch on this one.
Anyway… Our pig nosed, weasel bearded, woman-butchering forest nerd stalks and menaces Kimsy for a while, until he decides that it’s time to kick things up a notch and drag her back to his freak ass Norwegian murder shack for the most uncomfortable scene in the movie. It get’s rough, and you’re gonna hate it.
So that happens for a while, but apparently Kimsy can only be missing for several hours without the rest of her family taking notice. “Hey, where’s that annoying creature we don’t love very much?” Her mom and sister begin to wonder, eventually realizing that there could be legal consequences to letting Kimsy be eaten by trolls once the sun goes down. The two conclude that they had best set out to find her and bring her back home, and we’re into act 2. For whatever reason, this phase of the movie starts off looking sort of promising. We sort of get the impression that Kimsy’s mom and sister are going to embark on some detective quest to track their missing family member down, and perhaps unearth more information in the process that could further flesh out the film and make things more interesting; but if there is one thing The Thrill of A Kill loves to do, it is to fall puzzlingly, frustratingly short on promised potential that should be relatively effortless to deliver upon. Kimsy’s mom and sister talk to a whopping one person on their quest, which provides them with no leads and no clues of any sort whatsoever, and then, they just bump into Kimsy at a gas station. Really. They stop for gas and see the murderer there, and as he drives away, they spot Kimsy tied up in the back of his car. Then they just follow him home. That’s it. Pretty easy.
What happens next is dumb, too. Basically, in an effort to rescue Kimsy (I know, what for, right?) a bunch of people die, Kimsy escapes and is recaptured more than once, and a penis get’s severed somewhere in all the commotion. You know what, whatever Norway. I don’t even care anymore. This is not a good movie.
if you wanna talk shop, The Thrill of a Kill is fraught with blatant inferiority in every aspect of its execution, and it never tires of finding ways to disappoint, even when expectations are astoundingly low to begin with. The music is garbage, the photography is boring, and the narrative only holds together because it’s so fucking cookie cutter that it would require creativity to screw up.
And let’s talk about this killer again. Really?!? This is what you’re prepared to offer? I know you’ve got better than this, Norway. You can’t scare up one ghost viking, or maybe some black metal kids or something? How in the fuck is it even possible that to date, Norway, a culture with such a rich history of brutality and violence, can’t do better than the office IT guy? Are you trying to piss me off on purpose?
In summation, The Thrill Of A Kill is a truly flimsy imitation of a specific type of splatter film, which are typically known to be very low quality, but are embraced regardless. However, this film’s inability to live up to these astoundingly modest requirements makes it very, very difficult to recommend to anyone. Basically, you would have to have already re-watched all the movies that The Thrill Of A Kill wants to be so many times that you’re sick to death of them, and are desperate for something, ANYTHING new. If you’re in that boat, then A) I kind of don’t understand what a day in your life must be like, and B) I guess I have a recommendation for you. it sucks ass, have fun. For everyone else, I really can’t imagine why you’d want to waste your time.
Still a better movie than Sucker Punch.