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Horror Channel FrightFest: 68 Kill review

A superb ensemble brings this crazy joyride to life.

Credit: Studiocanal
68 Kill

Credit: Studiocanal

Chip (Matthew Gray Gubler) lives in a trailer with his unpredictable girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord), who sells sex to her sugar daddy so they can afford to get by. Bored and frustrated with their life together, Liza comes up with a plan to pull off a heist and steal $68,000 from the safe of her sugar daddy. Chip haplessly goes along with the plan, unaware of just how crazy Liza really is and when the heist goes horribly wrong, things start to spiral wildly out of control.

68 Kill is based on the novel by Bryan Smith and the best way to describe it is as a cross between The Hangover and Quentin Tarantino at his finest. The film has a definite Grindhouse quality to it that really gives it a distinct tone and unique quality. Be warned, 68 Kill is not for the feint hearted and it’s super violent but that is tempered by plenty of black humour throughout. Don’t let the opening half an hour lull you into a false sense of security because things get pretty raucous, pretty quickly.

Essentially the film is an exploration of Chip’s inability to be anything other than a nice guy even when faced with the direst of situations. Over the course of the film he comes into contact with three seemingly wildly different women, all of whom have a huge affect on his life but they may have a little more in common with one another than Chip would like to acknowledge. As Chip tries to break the ties to Liza following her crazy behaviour, he finds himself spiralling deeper into the world of crazy than he could ever have imagined.

What makes 68 Kill so great is the outstanding ensemble cast. Matthew Gray Gubler is superb as Chip and he manages to make you sympathise with him, even when he doesn’t really deserve it. The three lead women – AnnaLynne McCord, Alisha Boe and Sheila Vand – put in stunning performances, with McCord in particular really shining. You probably know her best from 90210 but her role here is as far from that as you could possibly imagine. She’s foul-mouthed, unpredictable and revels in her crazy.

Stylistically the film looks amazing and the direction of Trent Haaga is really eye-catching. He knows how to frame the shots to get the best out of them and he elicits fantastic performances. Even the gorier scenes are oddly beautiful to watch, as bizarre as that sounds.

68 Kill is an acquired taste for sure but it’s a whole lot of fun too. If you like stylised gore, dark humour and strong female characters, you’ll love everything about this film. My only real complaint is that when McCord is off-screen for a long period of time, the film did lag a bit but that’s more a comment on how amazing she is than any slight on the story or the director.

Cast: Matthew Gray Gubler, AnnaLynne McCord, Alisha Boe, Sheila Vand, Sam Eidson Director: Trent Haaga Writer: Trent Haaga Certificate: TBC Duration: 93 mins Released by: Studiocanal

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