Thursday 9 August 2012

Kuriosity Killz (2009)

Director: Trey McGriff
Stars: Trey McGriff and Caron Alisha McGriff

Filmmaker Trey McGriff makes a fine redneck narrator, somehow jolly without being over the top. As Ray Junior, he has that edge where he's not quite sane but could get by for the longest time without anyone calling him on it. Given that the character is from Georgia, I can easily buy into the act, because while I've met some wonderful people in southern Georgia, it has areas that felt like the closest I've ever been to Deliverance country. Ray Junior has the usual redneck hobbies: beer, guns and cowboy hats with skull and crossbones on them. Then again, when Candy comes over on an internet date and to appear in his movie, he plays Go Fish with her rather than some flavour of poker. She's a jolly young thing too, cute as a button and polite as punch, and I'm sure it wouldn't take much imagination to fathom what's going to happen to her soon enough. The handheld style gives it away before we even meet anyone. Fortunately there's a twist coming.
Unfortunately I enjoyed McGriff more as an actor than as a filmmaker. This is utterly his picture, as he didn't just write and direct but handled every other technical aspect of the film from composing the score through designing the sets and costumes to handling the camera, in addition to playing two of the three characters we see. I liked the story, not that it was deep but because it was jovial and engaging and has a neat twist, but that's about all. I don't like handheld camerawork at the best of times and McGriff didn't have the budget of a Cloverfield to play with here. He worked in black and white throughout which comes off as grey and featureless. The jolly tone meant that the pace was lethargic rather than suspenseful. The electronic music is jarring. In the end, I wanted to like this a lot more than I did, but it really needs a lot of tightening up to turn it into what it really wants to be. I have a feeling the bits McGriff is most proud of are the bits I liked the least.

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