A group of gay friends welcome one of the guys’ new boyfriend in their mist. Joe is just like them they think, except for the fact that he is a serial killer who doesn’t bother to hide it. In fact, he flat out tells his new man George who thinks it’s some hilarious long running joke. As people around them start to disappear and the random idle chatter never ceases, George may need to reassess his new adorable boyfriend. The story written by Jim Hansen and Jeffery Self has a fairly simple premise: What happens if a serial killer, after admitting it to himself, is completely open about what he’s doing but no one pays attention because we are all too busy talking about our lives and celebrities?
The set up and story are interesting; the group of friends being almost entirely composed of gay men is a welcome change from the usual horror fodder filled with girls and plenty of cleavage. Instead, we get more men, more bare chests, and even a bit of full frontal make nudity, a definitive change from the usual genre offerings. However, as is the norm in a lot of straight horror, a big part of the characters here are under-developed stereotypes of gay men and their token straight female friends. The most developed characters here are Joe our killer, his boyfriend George, and George’s YouTube video partner Barnes. The stand out performance here is Matthew McKelligon as Joe the openly killing serial killer.
He shows just the right amount of emotions at times while being perfectly cold at others, striking the difficult balance between normal human being and total psycho that some many just can’t achieve. Bryan Safi as Barnes and co-writer Jeffery Self as George are the two other performances getting the most screen time and they feel a little too cliché or perhaps just not as right in their parts as the lead. They are more than decent but something feels like it is missing, especially at the start of the film. They eventually evolve a bit and become more complete characters. As You’re Killing Me is a horror film, the kills and effects need to be mentioned.
The kills here are not particularly original, most being pretty basic which may be seen as Joe’s M.O. There is plenty of blood, which looks fine and very little actual gore which from the little seen, may have been the best route to take. The blood is quite sufficient for a horror-comedy like this one. Another “effect” worth mentioning is the oddly chosen and distracting lens flares on some of the murder sequences. It is entirely a stylistic choice that brings nothing to the scenes besides annoyance to those who are not fans of such things. The fact that it’s not found consistently throughout the film or on all the murder sequences makes one wonder why have it at all. Outside of this, the film looks fine but it does feel like an independent or arty-er film with its visuals and shooting style.
Besides a couple of gripes (the lens flares, a therapist with Sunday hours), the film is perfectly enjoyable but at the same time, it’s not one to move everything off the schedule for, It’s a decent horror-comedy with a good actor as its killer who I’ll be on the lookout for in the future. At the same time, this movie is a good satire of the cult of self, where one only cares about the sound of their own voice, their own celebrity, and how to get more hits while ignoring the rest of the world and what happens around them. In this kind of society, would it be so surprising to see an open serial killer not get caught for so long?