Story: A documentary crew is on site in a remote North Dakota locale, to film the incredible story of a local hockey team that seems destined for greatness. A true underdog story, the crew is certain they’re capturing some cinematic magic. But while the hockey team provides some good footage, the town has a potential subject that would be even more popular, murder. So with a reality television debutante (Kaley Cuoco) on hand to broaden appeal, the crew begins to poke around and of course, the murderer isn’t keen on being the star of a documentary feature. A mysterious, masked killer soon goes on the rampage and the film crew finds itself in the crosshairs. Can the crew somehow survive and save their footage, or will their ratings reward be posthumous?
Entertainment Value: Although countless movies have tried to blend horror and comedy, the cocktail is rarely a successful one. Killer Movie had a unique premise at the time, mixing in reality television vibes into a horror flick, but the end result is a disappointment. The narrative is thin, but leans on characters more than story, which makes sense, given the reality show approach and the vast reality television experience of director Jeff Fisher. To be fair, the “confessionals” that are used instead of traditional exposition are likely the most effective part of Killer Movie. Those scenes have the look and feel of reality television confessionals and could have been used to tighten the pace, but instead they’re all but wasted with weak writing. The confessionals are still better than the horror movie elements however, which are as bland and forgettable as possible. The horror feels like an afterthought here, with dull kill scenes and no tension or scares whatsoever. Killer Movie’s sense of humor falls flat as well, so we are left with a horror/comedy that offers little of either. I was bored with Killer Movie, so I can’t really give much of a recommendation in this case.
I do think the cast here tries to make the material work or at least it seems like it, as there is some energy put into the performances. So no one really stands out as memorable, but that is due to the script and direction, not the talent in front of the camera. I suppose some could have just dialed things to the moon, but the material isn’t fun or over the top enough for that be effective, as much as I love to see unhinged antics on screen. Kaley Cuoco is passable as the socialite, reality television star and she does what she’s asked, but that’s not much. I think perhaps this is the one role that could have been punched up by the performance, but sadly, that doesn’t happen. I’d say the best turn here belongs to Nestor Carbonell, who shows the most enthusiasm and manages to drag some decent moments out of this material, which is no small task. The cast also includes Leighton Meester, Adriana DeMeo, Jason London, Paul Wesley, and Al Santos.
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