In the fictional town of Grace Arbor the answers are never clear. Who is underneath the mask? PRANK'd is the story of a group of high school kids who amuse themselves by pulling pranks on ...
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In the fictional town of Grace Arbor the answers are never clear. Who is underneath the mask? PRANK'd is the story of a group of high school kids who amuse themselves by pulling pranks on unsuspecting students and teachers. They are all popular, good looking, the kids voted most likely to succeed. But at their core lies a cruelty and shallowness which comes with the territory of privilege. One night, a prank goes horribly wrong and a teenager is killed. The gang covers it up as a drowning accident but five years later, their lives are turned upside down when Jimmy Edwards, is killed by a serial killer wearing a haunting Marilyn Monroe mask. Soon, the gang are killed one by one in manners mirroring the pranks they pulled in high school. Is it revenge? Is it karma? Is it the dead boy's spirit coming back to avenge his death? Is it his twin brother, Liam, who has come to Grace Arbor asking questions? One thing is certain - No one is laughing now.
Loved the idea for 'Kill Game', which for recent modest to low budget film viewings was one that was really quite creative. Executed right, 'Kill Game' had potential to be quite decent. The cover/poster/advertising was attention grabbing and does make one want to see the film. Really admire any film that includes and tackles the topical subject of bullying, an everyday issue that's far too frequent and nowhere near enough is done to stop it.
'Kill Game' could have done so much more with such a great concept and is not necessarily a great film, or even particularly good. There are a fair few problematic elements here, including deciding early on whether to continue watching. That said, it is watchable enough, just about worth sticking with and the potential is not completely wasted. There are plus points, and fortunately in 'Fear Clinic's' case those plus points are quite big. It's all been summed up very well, so don't have an awful lot to add other than my own (fairly similar) thoughts.
Starting with the plus points, the acting is better than average and in the lead cast quite good. The secondary parts are a little ropy sure but even then it could have been far worse.
Mostly, 'Kill Game' looks reasonable, it's atmospherically shot and the effects for the budget were much better than expected, not incredible but not amateurish.
It does handle the bullying angle with intelligence and in a way that's easy to identify with. 'Kill Game' starts off really well, where one can see where what happens for much of the film originates from and why it happens. There is suspense and creepiness here and there and the sound isn't too obvious or intrusive.
However, it has been said that 'Kill Game' was primarily let down by the script. Have to completely agree with this. It doesn't flow enough, can be cheesy and lacks tautness. Worse is that it does try to do far too much with far too many elements and not doing enough with any of them. A shame, because there were some great ideas here.
A problem that also badly affects the story, which becomes muddled and confusing from jumping from one thing to the next with little refinement or proper exploration. There are pacing problems in the middle act and from the halfway point onwards, parts are rushed and it also feels like too much is being stretched to sustain the overlong running time, some of it not needed.
Much of the second half is ridiculous and weird, again because of the lack of clarity in the story and over-ambition of the script. The finesse also goes and it becomes cheap visually, the surgery sequence looks awful. The twists and turns mostly are obvious and don't make sense, the red herrings just convolute the story even more and the identity of the killer and motivation didn't really surprise all that much. The film gets unintentionally silly in the third act, where the tension and suspense captured well in the first half dissipates, and it all becomes far too coincidental and over-convenient.
Concluding, a great concept and some good elements but suffers from too cooks spoil the under-seasoned broth. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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