Killbillies, also known as Idyll and Idila, follows a group who goes out to the mountains for a photoshoot and gets interrupted by the local hillbillies hell-bent on killing them. Writer/director Tomaz Gorkic takes the hillbillies in the woods tropes and transposes them to Slovenia. The story basis is one the public has seen a bunch of times before: city people trespass on hillbilly family land and suffer the consequences. The story is one that has been seen before, however its development and added details such as the alcohol the hillbillies produce and the fact that the group in danger is of varied adult ages gives the film an edge.
These factors and other details, such as most of the action taking place during the day, set the film apart in its sub-genre and create interest. The cast can be split into two groups: the hillbillies and the victims. Playing the lead in the photoshoot group is Nina Ivanisin as Zina who turns in a strong performance. Playing the rest of the group are Manca Ogorevc as make-up artist Dragica, Sebastian Cavazza as photographer Blitcz, and Nika Rozman as ambitious model Mia. The latter plays her character to be an annoying brat while the other two are supporting characters to Zina. Playing lead hillbillies, Lotos Sparovec and Jurij Drevensek come off as fairly nasty human beings with some seriously messed up faces only an inbred mother could love. They both are doing insane killers quite well.
Helping establish them as the damaged, inbred, hillbillies that they are are the special effects by Sendy Kumalakanta and assistant Mojca Bernjak. The effects look good, adding a lot to the characters, taking their facial features and deformations almost to a grotesque level. The prosthetics used look properly gross and ridiculous, adding to the overall effect of the film. The bloody kills are also well done and there is a decent amount of the red stuff.
The film is show in and shows off the idyllic mountains of Slovenia. The cinematography by Nejc Saje shows off the nature in and around those mountains. The beauty of the area and of the local nature counterbalances the horror and violence committed on screen nicely. The film has an almost peaceful look which works in an interesting way with the story and the effects.
Killbillies is a classic hillbillies killing city folks film with a few new twists. As Slovenia’s first horror film, it’s a decent first offering with interesting imagery in a beautiful setting. The effects are good and so is the cast. It’s a good way for the country to start in the genre and gives one an interest in seeing more from horror from Slovenia.