Kill Me If You Can is a budgeted horror film that needs some extra style.
Published on April 19, 2023
Rating 2 /5
Five minutes is enough time to tell a decently scary story. It is enough to present a stylish slasher. That seems to be the intent of Kill Me If You Can, a low-budget horror film that seems to be all about the chase. There’s a script that feels light enough to focus on the theatrics of college girls running from a murderous cult. While the film has some decent assembly, it ultimately comes off as lifeless as the bodies it leaves behind.
The film deserves Credit for making the wise call to be light on dialogue. Since the actors here seem like amateurs, they have little to say and plenty to do. The light story involves three college students returning to their dorms after the library closes. On their walk through the dark streets of a deserted campus, they’re cornered by masked individuals brandishing knives. Without introduction, the mysterious figures start picking the girls off as they flee from their attackers. In classic slasher fashion, they die from common mistakes of the genre. The first girl can’t understand her friends too far away to warn her of the killers behind her. The second girl gets tired and begs for a rest just before being gutted—the third pauses in her car before she becomes the last victim.
While this short film doesn’t waste much time, it also doesn’t spend much of it well beyond the money shots of bloody stabbings. We never spend that much time with the girls to care about whether or not they don’t become the next corpse. We don’t know enough about the killers to understand their desire to kill beyond simplistic games, complete with childlike expressions and mannerisms after their kills. Despite the varied masks, all the killers act the same. And it’s a bit odd that this short film chooses to have flashbacks to events that happened mere seconds ago.
It’d be nice to say the film succeeds on its technical merits, and there’s some praise for a small project such as this. The camera remains firm for a movie with chases, the lighting is decent enough to tell what’s going on, and the audio is competently recorded, so there’s no wind-drowned dialogue or off-putting ADR. But while the film avoids many pitfalls in several low-budget horror films, it also lacks flair. The college setting is believable as it is shot on an actual campus. That being said, there’s a little shock in how it presents the terror of this scenario.
In the same way that the script feels like a first draft, the filmmaking also feels like a rough draft, lacking a personality beyond the kills. And, yes, on that level, the kills look alright. The blood is never too absurd, and the stabbings are never too subtle. It’s enough to make one beg for a geyser of blood that explode from the bodies to awaken the picture from its ho-hum premise.
Kill Me If You Can is a budgeted horror film that needs some extra style. All the pieces are in place for a solid slasher and never come together nicely. While technically sound, this short film needs to try something more than just a series of people getting diced up by a murderous cult. There’s no shortage of movies like that, and it’s a bit disheartening that this picture falls into that camp more as an exercise than a surprise.
Mark has been a professional film critic for over five years and a film lover all his life.