Reviews for Kill Your Friends had been stating that this film is “this generations American Psycho” – with comparisons like this my attention for the film immediately sky rocketed. Apart from a few posters I knew very little about this film. Kill Your Friends is based on a book of the same name and follows the career of Steven Stelfox who works in the music industry.
I can see why the film has gained comparisons to American Psycho, however, I think it’s an exaggeration to compare it in terms of quality. Nonetheless I had a great time with this film. It’s something that we don’t see too often – violent and gory dramas which don’t focus on these acts, the film is more about Stelfox’s career than anything else. These violent acts are only a means to an end for him. Nicholas Hoult plays the lead role here and he does a great job. I’ve always thought that Hoult was a likeable actor and apart from the X-Men films and the recent success of Mad Max: Fury Road thought he should of been in more great movies. Whether or not Kill Your Friends is great or not will depend very much on individual preference although I did think that Hoult performed very well in this interesting and versatile role. He brings a great tension to many scenes leaving the audience in doubt as to whether or not we are about to witness another violent outburst or not. I liked these moments a lot and thought Hoult always contributed more to the character through his performance. I only wish that the writing of the character could have supported Hoult’s performance in the same way. Stelfox was by no means a poorly written character I just thought at times he was a little unconvincing in the context of this story. This was only a minor issue though and I suppose I was making some American Psycho comparisons of my own to pick up on it.
The film has a great pace to it, between Hoult speaking directly to the audience, scenes playing out in an incomplete way, the musical performances and much more Kill Your Friends was always fast moving. As a result I was always entertained and that was even before all the madness of the more violent elements to the film. The film’s title is slightly misleading and I’m not sure that it fits the film all that well, it comes across like it’s trying too hard to be a bit off the wall. I know that the book has the same name and it may well suit that but I think the film should have come with a new title. I think it combines with the writing of Stelfox to tarnish the believability of the story but again that is a minor complaint. The film is nuts though so maybe believability went out the window from the get go! In the end the film is satisfying and there are no ambiguous endings like a certain other film…
Anyway, Kill Your Friends is a very entertaining time at the cinema – films like this always lend themselves very well to entertainment. It’s certainly been done better before but Kill Your Friends is a fine film with a fantastic performance from Nicholas Hoult, it’s just a shame that he was let down slightly by the writing. Thanks for reading but now I have to return some video tapes….oh wait wrong film.
Rating – 8/10