After Olivia (Amanda Crew) loses her job, she decides that it’s time to get away from it all to clear her mind. She finds a place to stay online and after contacting the owner, Harvey (Robert Patrick) they arrange to meet to do business. Harvey tells Olivia that he’s a widower, the place where Olivia is set to stay is the house that Harvey and his wife, Agnes (Nancy Linehan Charles) have lived many happy years.
So, with bittersweet feelings after learning about Harvey’s loss, Olivia and Harvey exchange pleasantries and she settles in for the night. Little does she know that Harvey has acquired a taste for killing after being bored with the rest of his life and Olivia is lined up to be his next victim.
Killer Instinct is a horror comedy written and directed by Richard Bates Jr. that has neither a decent grasp on horror or comedy. Through a series of scenes, Bates Jr. manages to put together a movie that seems like it has something to say about the current media war between Millennials and Boomers, but doesn’t have a clear enough direction.
There’s certainly a horror movie in there, but with so many different elements such as Harvey’s fourth wall breaking monologues about Millennials, surreal dream sequences and very little characterisation it becomes very easy not to care about anyone.
Although admittedly very well shot, with the right script Robert Patrick could be even more menacing than he comes across. However, neither the comedic side of his character nor the menacing side comes over effectively. The meaningless background characters add no humour and aren’t fleshed out enough either, so when it comes to making a more coherent horror movie, their actions make it seem like they’re just following a script.
The surreal dream sequences and hallucinations that Harvey experiences are well done, but unfortunately, they’re gone all too soon and mostly serve as jump scares. Perhaps with a little more time and thought behind them, maybe Bates Jr. could have said something more profound with his story. However, much like the feud between the Millennials and the Boomers, it all seems rather pointless.
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