Airbnb has become a more and more popular service over the years as homeowners look for a way to make a quick buck off of unused property and renters look for a cheap place to stay on vacation. The new film Killer Kate! brings to question the security of services like this.
Directed and co-written by Elliot Feld, the film follows a woman who attends her estranged sister’s bachelorette party at a remote cabin in the woods upon the request of her dying father. However, as the night progresses, the party turns into a bloody and violent battle for survival.
The premise of this film has a lot of potential. The bachelor(ette)-party-goes-wrong formula is certainly nothing new, but the murderous spin on it is interesting. If only the filmmakers could have taken that premise and made something that was actually scary and/or funny. Instead, the film stumbles through its first forty-five minutes and rushes through the last thirty.
One of the film’s biggest issues is its lack of character development. In the first act, the film jumps between the stories of the killers and their victims. As a result, neither storyline is fully explored and none of the characters are fully developed. The film is trying to be “edgy” by attempting to make the killers seem sympathetic, but that is in no way effective.
Instead, the characters all feel shallow and archetypal. The supporting characters are especially frustrating and stereotypical. Because of this, it was extremely hard to get invested in the story. The only likable character is Kate, the protagonist, and that comes over time. That being said, the film never establishes where her “killer instincts” originated, which is disappointing, as the film easily could have made her an extremely strong female character.
The film’s humor also just didn’t land. The film attempts to be self-aware and meta, but is unsuccessful, as the jokes it makes just aren’t that funny. Additionally, the film adheres too closely to the tropes of the genre to be funny in a subversive way. Towards the end of the film, it attempts to be different, but instead just feels stupid. The writers attempted to give the film a meaning, but it didn’t make any sense.
That being said, the film does have some very good technical qualities. The film does a solid job of taking a (mostly) confined setting and making the most out of it. Although it could have spared to be more suspenseful, the close quarters do create a decent amount of tension. Additionally, the cinematography was frequently great. There are some really interesting shots, especially during the kills.
Overall, Killer Kate! was a rather disappointing film. Despite having a large amount of potential, the film fails to deliver, being mostly unfunny and otherwise underwhelming.
Killer Kate! is in theaters and on VOD beginning October 26.