2023 Brooklyn Film Festival: Kill Your Lover
The 2023 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival kicked off with a great screening of Kill Your Lover, a film that puts a great spin on the relationship and body horror genres at the same time. The UK production finally hit the festival scene in the States. The film is about a relationship on the rocks and one partner wants to end it and the other do not all the while both are infected with a alien virus that abducts their bodily functions. Dakota (played by Paige Gilmour) and Axel (played by Shane Quigley Murphy) are the crossed lovers who argue, love and then fight to the death towards the end of the film. There is brilliant graphics as we see the alien lifeform abducts Shane first then as he soaks in the tub the visual is magnificient as he looks the medics who thinks he is a domestic abuser too(a brilliant and funny scene) Throughout the film you see the couple go back and forth however in the beginning of the film you see the seeds of how the relationship started to deteriorate as Dakota is a woman who wants to live as a free spirit and Axel wants stability and lack of commitment. Once their friends intervene with their opinions it makes for disaster for the couple. During a makeout session Axel gets sick and starts throwing up on Dakota which in turn leads to Dakota seeing the alien blotches on Axel's skin. Before we get into our critique we must commend the directors Alix Austin and Keir Stewart for incorporating kink(primarily BDSM) without being cheesy or plain. The element matched the characters well and the dialogue between was funny yet intriguing.
Our critique of the film goes as follows: It is not a traditional horror film. It's more of a relationship film with a twist of body horror. It is not a bad thing and it definitely set the tone for the festival as it gets more creative with the horror genre. Paige and Shane are great as Axel and Dakota especially with the banter and fight scenes. Being filmed in the UK gives the film a different feel similar to previous horror films from the UK. The fact that everyone involved in the film are newcomers to film is a breath of fresh air to the horror canon. We love the practical effects that is gross, repulsive yet scary at the same time. The performance are fantastic and we look forward to seeing them in more horror movies or any movies in that manner. Kill Your Lover can be both a great date night film or what today's kids say "Netflix and Chill" but it can be also be a great film when alone as well to understand the dynamics of what to say and how to say what you feel in a relationship before it's too late.
Look out for reviews from the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival as it runs until October 21st at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.