Welcome to Knockout Horror and to another Quick Fire Review. Man, are we on a run of some really bad movies? In the past week we were subjected to a whole bunch of disappointing horror. Headgame, Baby Ruby, Come Play and Re/Member all set the bar pretty low. Unfortunately, here comes Italian horror Don’t Kill Me to limbo right underneath said bar. This movie is an absolute stinker.
Following the story of a woman who returns from the dead. Don’t Kill Me plays out like an erotic horror version of Twilight. A boring plot, unlikeable characters and protracted sex scenes are the order of the day here. Without further ado, let’s take a look. Obviously this is a Quick Fire review so I stay strictly under 1,000 words. Not including this opening and headings. There’s no way I am writing a ton about this movie.
Don’t Kill Me follows the story of young woman Mirta. Mirta is in a relationship with a drug addict. Wanting him to quit the drugs. Mirta makes a deal with him. If she tries the drugs with him, he will have to quit them. Unfortunately for Mirta. Her utterly bulletproof and not at all stupid plan goes wrong. The pair overdose and are interred in a local mausoleum. Even more unfortunately, Mirta comes back to life. Only, she now has to consume flesh lest she rot away.
Don’t Kill Me is the bastard love child of a number of modern horror series. It’s the terrifying result of Blade rubbing his nipples while watching Twilight and Warm Bodies fuck. Part horror, part action movie, part romance. It is a combination of genres that rarely mesh this poorly. This is a movie that fails on each and every front.
Things fall apart from the very start. Mirta and Robin are two people from completely different worlds. The privileged Mirta’s life stands in stark contrast to that of the roguish Robin. Associating with a group of junkies. Robin is your stereotypical “other side of the tracks” loser. The very foundation of Don’t Kill Me feels weak. It is cliched, tired, and difficult to buy into. This is even more apparent given the events that lead to Mirta’s death.
If we push aside, for a minute, how unlikeable Robin is. It is hard to not view Mirta as a bit of a loser too. Her pandering to Robin feels nonsensical. She ignores her friend’s advice to stay away from him. She is completely blinded by this Edward Cullen lite. Understanding Mirta’s romantic motivations is very difficult. Taking drugs to make your junkie boyfriend stop taking drugs is very far fetched. Mirta then spends the entire movie romantically waiting for Robin to revive. It is farcical and makes for a protagonist that is difficult to root for.
The horror element here is non-existent. Despite the zombie-like nature of Mirta’s affliction. There is very little explanation for it and limited exposition. The horror is never really explored. For much of the runtime, it feels far closer to an action movie. With that in mind, action movie tropes abound. Silenced pistols, poorly choreographed fight scenes, shrouded characters on motorbikes. It’s both familiar and tired. It’s all been done before and in a much better way.
The sequences feel boring and repetitive. They are, also, stitched loosely together by a plot full of holes. Events occur with no explanation. People are introduced purely to be killed. Characters randomly show up “just in the nick of time” to make saves. No explanation is given for how they knew that they needed to be there. Plot lines evaporate with no conclusion. Hell, even the basic premise of the movie is logically flawed. It’s poorly written and horribly derivative.
The most offensive thing about Don’t Kill Me might be its focus on romance. This is like a softcore skin flick. I have argued many times that nudity has its place in horror. At times, it is essential to the plot. Nudity can be shocking; it can make characters feel more vulnerable or more dangerous. Sex scenes, on the other hand, almost always feel out of place. As mentioned above. Don’t Kill Me is like an erotic version of Twilight.
The viewer is subjected to extended scenes of awkward and sweaty copulation. If you have the misfortune of watching the dubbed version. You will also be subjected to the voice over artist’s loud and offensive kissing sounds. At one point I was seriously panicked as Robin began to move his head toward Mirta’s crotch. I don’t think I could have sat through an audio recreation of what was going on down there.
I had a prevailing feeling throughout Don’t Kill Me. It’s as though the writer watched Twilight. Saw when it was made and mentally aged up the audience. In a moment of inspiration they thought. “Well, these people will be in their late 20s now. I’ll bet they will enjoy more of the same with added sex”. It is all pretty awkward and feels a bit sad to be honest. Much like The Sitter. Don’t Kill Me has a tendency to resort to nudity for titillation, as well. There are scenes that fit really well. Seeing Mirta naked to witness the damage on her body for example. At other times, it feels utterly redundant.
Acting is extremely average. Alice Pagani is fine at first but seems to fall fairly flat as an action heroine. She never really manages to make you buy into her as a tough protagonist. Rocco Fasano is incredibly milquetoast as Robin. This might be more down to the writing than anything. His character doesn’t have much personality. He doesn’t emote particularly well. He looks a bit like a dollar store Robert Pattinson. I imagine that is why he was cast in this role. Everyone else is pretty awful. There is a distinct B-movie element to the performances here. Especially the main antagonist and Mirta’s mum.
Cinematography is okay. The camera shots feel a little low. Like the centre point is slightly below character’s chins. I found that a little bizarre. This is a dull movie, though. Everything is very grey. There isn’t much use of the Italian scenery, either. Everything feels quite claustrophobic and boring. Nothing stands out as being particularly decent. Certain scenes feature strobe lighting which is worth taking note of. Music is ear bleedingly bad outside of a few well known tracks.
Don't Kill Me is a Horror Romance that plays out like an erotic, zombie version of Twilight. Bad acting, terrible CGI and an awful plot are just some of its issues. Awkward sex scenes take centre stage. Boring and repetitive action sequences don't help. Throw in poor pacing and characters that are difficult to invest in. The result is yet another terrible Netflix horror movie. Give it a miss.