There’s a lot to be said about low-budget, independent horror films, not the least of which is that, more often than not, they kinda suck. So, even though the trailer looked like Killing Mr. Right might be a decent viewing I went into it expecting only something to hold my attention while I folded my laundry (oh yeah, it’s all scary/sexy fun all the time here at Casa de Horror Chick). What I got was 90 minutes of a cool little revenge horror, reminiscent of Polanski’s Death and the Maiden but way more fun to watch.
I won’t tell you much more than what is in the trailer (cause I don’t wanna spoil the fun), but the movie centers around Jessica (a really stellar Elizabeth Jackson), a young woman who recently escaped the clutches of a masked serial killer and who is obviously in the throws of PTSD. Now I must mention that Liz Jackson, was an inspired casting choice for a role such as this. Although at first glance she seems like nothing more than a pretty blonde (teenager…I swear, she looks 14) with lovely clear blue eyes, the moment the story begins to unfold, those eyes fill with pain, madness and even a depth of rage that should be beyond someone of her perceived years. I hate to use this expression, but I think Elizabeth Jackson will be one actress to watch out for in future, and I for one hope she does a lot more horror.
So, a severely traumatized Jessica shares a house with her bff Faith (an unfortunately irritating Brittney Karbowski) who becomes engaged to a suave (and oh so pretty) man named Mark (Beyer). From their first meeting Jessica is convinced that this is the man who raped and tortured her and, with the single-mindedness of the mentally unhinged, she sets out to return the favor.
Much like in Death and the Maiden, we are left guessing about the identity of Jessica’s masked tormentor and even as to whether or not her mind has simply cracked and she has turned her deranged need for vengeance on an innocent man Now things get amusingly inventive from here, so I’ll be keeping a lid on the details; suffice to say though that as the plot progressed, I cringed and laughed and then cringed some more.
As a whole, Killing Mr. Right benefits greatly from the strong, layered and wholly intense performances of the two leads, as well as the strange but undeniable chemistry between them. I almost wish that the movie had been only about these two characters, Jessica and Mark, in a game of cat and mouse, reacting to each other, feeding off each other’s performances; now that would have been kick ass. As it is though, Beyer has made a really good, awesomely twisted movie here, it’s not perfect, but it doesn’t need to be, it still makes for a real fun time.
Finally, all good parts aside, Killing Mr. Right does suffer a bit from a lack of budget, which is generally unnecessary, but would have been just the thing to give this movie the polish it lacks. Come to think of it though, there are plenty of really shitty movies out there that are as polished as they get, so I suppose having good raw material and talent to back it up is what really counts. With that in mind, I have no doubt that Beyer, being in possession of multiple talents, will eventually move on to bigger/better productions, and if he manages to keep his edge (here’s hoping), then I believe we can expect great things from this Mr. Right.