Written and directed by Kirill Sokolov, this ridiculously violent, over the top film has more blood than most horror movie have has a story simple enough to follow even if the subtitles don’t work. Here the film is all about keeping the story mostly in one room and ramping up the violence every few minutes. Now, does that work? If you are simply looking for violence for the sake of violence, sure it does. As an interesting story, the twists and surprises just are not enough to keep the film as a whole interesting. The repeated violence and bloodshed keeps the attention for a while, but eventually gives a feeling of constant repetition that loses all interested. It’s unfortunate as the film has a lot of potential, but that is lost once the viewer doesn’t care anymore. Adding a bit more character development, more reasoning maybe, or perhaps something more to the dialog could have saved it from falling into the violence for violence’s sake trope.
The cast is led by Aleksandr Kuznetsov as Matvey, the would-be killer, and Vitaliy Khaev as Andrey the targeted victim of Matvey. The film does make good use of them and pits them against each other, but they are a part of what eventually feels like it’s going in circle instead of advancing the story. Nonetheless, the two of them do a decent job with their somewhat cartoonish characters. Giving what seems to be the best performance of the film is Evgeniya Kregzhde as Olya. She gives a bit more depth to her character and is given the chance to give Olya more personality, for better or worse, thus showing that she has talent. The rest of the cast is also decent, but no one really stands out with their performances or steels any scene.
The film’s look is something that is interesting and keeps the viewer involved a little bit more. The cinematography Dmitriy Ulyukaev and the editing by Kirill Sokolov makes the film both look good and move at a great pace, dealing with all the violence in a manner that makes it a bit like a cartoon come to life. The editing really helps bring the style of the film forward.
“Why Won’t You Just Die!” looks slick and has some great scenes of uber violence, but after a while, it all becomes repetitive and loses the attention completely. With this much violence and some decent performances, the film should have been more along the lines of the ones it’s being compared to in marketing and other reviews, but it feels like a bit of a student take on those films story-wise. The execution of it all is good, but it does not really save the viewer in terms of just basically giving up before the film gets to its ending. Also, there is an aspect that makes the character of Olya, the better developed character overall, unlikable pretty early on, which is a bit of a “too bad” kind of thing as she could have stolen the whole film.