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Kill Theory (2009)

Kill Theory Movie Poster

Whilst celebrating a graduation at a secluded vacation home, a group of college students find themselves targeted by a sadistic killer who forces them to play a deadly game of killing one another in order to survive.

Kill Theory was released as part of the After Dark Horrorfest. I have seen a lot of films released from the After Dark label, such as Dying BreedBorderland, Frontier(s) and The Hamiltons, and whilst Kill Theory is maybe not as good as the ones I’ve linked my reviews for, it is way better than the majority released, which I have the unfortunate pleasure of watching again very soon. Some of them are awful…….

Anyway, back on to Kill Theory. The premise of the film finds an unnamed killer (whose identity I will keep a secret, not that it really matters, and IMDb have him as the main billing, and he is one of my ‘tags‘, but you may recognise him from films such as Heat, Blow, and a whole host of horror genre movies) being released from a mental institution, where he has been held for a number of years after a trio of manslaughter charges. A few years ago our killer was climbing some mountains with friends when, after an accident, he decided that the only way to save himself was to sacrifice them. A bit like the true story from the movie/book Touching The Void. In this film it was classed as manslaughter, but to our psycho, it’s a simple and natural instinct to survive, and all humans share it. He aims to prove his point, and calls it his kill theory. His test subjects? A bunch of college friends that have gathered at a cabin in the woods for one last blow out before graduation.

Kill Theory cast

So far it may sound like a plot you have heard a thousand times. That is true, and you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that the group of friends include the usual clichés: the rich, selfish brat (Teddy Dunn) whose dad owns the cabin, his girlfriend (Ryanne Duzich), the fat, single video gamer (Daniel Franzese) and two other couples: the horny couple (Steffi Wickens and Theo Rossi) and the seemingly perfect couple (Agnes Bruckner & Patrick Flueger – Mother’s Day). Rounding out the group we have Taryn Manning who plays the rich brat’s trailer trash step-sister who crashes the party.

kill theory movie

If you have watched the trailer, I can see why people may pass this off as a Saw ripoff, complete with an unseen Jigsaw-esque protagonist with a penchant for lessons, tests and videotapes. The thing is, the majority of Kill Theory is nothing like those few scenes intimated, but is instead a fun, fast-paced and well-crafted slasher.

A lot of movies from the After Dark label don’t have the starriest cast list. Yet here with our secret killer, and a few of the leads having popped up in some well-known movies, this definitely helped the calibre of acting on show here. Sure, there was some ropey dialogue at times, and some of the actions went against what I felt I (or anyone) would do in those circumstances, it didn’t take away any of the fun I had with Kill Theory. Visually, there was a bit of blood on show, and a few home-made ‘traps‘ for our students to avoid, but nothing too violent really. Unless you don’t like things going in eyes…….there was a bit of that.

kill theory movie image

Kill Theory improves upon and goes against the grain of the genre in a few ways. The killer is revealed early on and we know his motivation. His reasons become even more clear at the end of the movie. And the theory behind the Kill Theory being that with enough stress anyone can be a killer is cleverly subverted. If anything, Kill Theory wraps up its plot points, delivers on its promises, and gives a definitive answer to its question. If you can track this down, I think you can have a lot of fun with it.

6 stars

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20 Comments

  1. theipc

     /  January 23, 2013

    Good one, Captain! I’ll give this a watch – I really did Agnes Bruckner : ) I’m glad you’re watching all of these After Dark movies and reporting back on them. I’ve only seen one or two that were even worth mentioning.

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    • Cheers buddy!

      Yeah they were all some of our horror channels and streaming over here, and I got some on DVD, so want to work through them periodically. I think I have reviewed and linked the best ones earlier in this review. They get worse from what I remember, but there are some I havent seen yet so who knows!?

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  2. You are a very nice person & are very generous!! :-). I hated this film. What really killed it for me were the characters. They had bad dialogue & all of them did really stupid/annoying things.

    And the Gamer character … he couldn’t die soon enough. His was a horribly written character.

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    • Really?! 🙂

      I put it on a par with Borderland, you know, not a game changer as such, but at least doing things a little different. Agree with the gamer character, he was terrible and I’m glad I don’t have friends like him. BUT the majority of the time I enjoyed this!

      Cheers for the comment, much appreciated 🙂

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  3. I’ve seen a lot of the After Dark stuff myself, definitely hit and miss. Will check this one out though!

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    • Hit & Miss sums it up perfectly!! A lot of misses, but worth it when you find one that is decent!! Cheers buddy, let me know if you ever catch it 🙂

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  4. Tom

     /  January 24, 2013

    Cool. I’ve never been a huge fan of the horror genre but I might have to give this one a whirl. My initial reaction to the trailer fell straight in line with the ‘Saw ripoff’ sentiment, but your review says otherwise, hence my interest.

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    • Yeah, I guess the trailer is trying to attract the ‘saw/hostel’ crowd, but whilst maybe not as good as them films, its different enough to be decent.

      I mean, it is a horror film, and there is a bit of blood, but its definitely more of a thriller I would say 🙂

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  5. wordschat

     /  January 24, 2013

    The motivations seem ropey instead of dopey. Gotta love spell check putting in unintended words. This looks good and so does into the void (this -35c 6:20am morning on way to work). Still can’t find the Thompsons.

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    • Yeah it’s not bad!! Into The Void is good, but one of the characters in the movie is very hard to like………fascinating watch though!

      Damn, I thought The Thompsons would be on dvd cheap by now over there. It is filthy cheap here, for a change the UK actually get something first! One day you will see it 🙂

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  6. I’ve only seen four film from After Dark, but two of those, Lake Mungo and Reincarnation, are some of my favorite horrors of the 21st century, and the others, Borderlands and Unrest, were not bad. I don’t think I’ve seen any of the films After Dark actually made, though, just the ones they acquired elsewhere. Is Kill Theory one of the After Dark original films?

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    • You know, since they release it as part of their ‘festival’ that is really just them releasing it on dvd, I assume After Dark have a hand in making them all? There have been some that made it in theatres, financed by After Dark I believe, and Kill Theory was one of them. With a budget of $10 million.

      I just take them all to be part of After Dark films, and will be working through them in no particular order. Been quite a few throughout the years. Lake Mungo is recommended to me by so many people, and I have it ready to watch soon. Not heard of Reincarnation…….must of missed it when searching the web for their dvds!!

      Cheers Erin 🙂

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      • Reincarnation is one of a series of “J-horror Theater” films made for the American market, sometimes titled as Rinne, which was later picked up for After Dark Horrorfest. The series includes Infection and Premonition also, which I also recommend. They continued on with Retribution, Kaidan and Kyofu, but I haven’t seen those.

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        • Ah ok, thats maybe why I didnt see it on the list as part of the other series. Strange. Sounds good though, Ill have to keep my eyes peeled! Thanks for the heads up 😛

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