THE KILLAGE (2011)
Written and directed by Joe Bauer
A group of young employees are sent away for a nature break ‘team building’ vacation to get to know one another better and for the head of camp, Patrick, to choose a team leader for the company. Their woodland retreat goes sour when Patrick discovers an anonymous note threatening to kill everyone in the camp. Patrick and the youths quickly dismiss the sinister message as a prank that is until a masked killer appears on the scene making true to the promise in the note.
Australian horror comedy THE KILLAGE pokes fun at the horror genre as it runs away screaming with no pants on from a cloaked, totem-masked killer intent on spilling teen blood. The meat prime for the carving comes in the form of jock…err… Jock and his put-upon girlfriend Crystal (also known as Bam-Bam), photography enthusiast Warren, poker player Lucy, foul-mouthed wheelchair-bound Dickman and dizzy guitarist Gus, amongst others. After the first of them is killed, they must try to work together to survive the night but the killer doesn’t make it easy for them, using their surroundings and their precious belongings against them.
For horror fans, THE KILLAGE is more of a comedy than it is a slasher movie with the characters constantly bickering with each other and providing witty and daft content but when the killings do occur, they can be rather grisly and rival any modern slasher in terms of over the top brutality, so don’t be fooled by the humour that this isn’t an effective horror in the kills department. However, everywhere else the films lacks the tension and atmosphere that a good horror needs which leads to the film struggling to become anything but a comedy with horror elements.
Whilst I enjoyed THE KILLAGE for what it’s worth, there’s no doubt that the film is both too long in duration and underdeveloped in the character and plot department. The humour sometimes outstays its welcome as what was first amusing turns stale pretty quickly and whilst they’re still trying to run with the jokes, you hope that the masked killer is just round the corner to finish them off to save us the trouble. When those kills so arrive, they’re inventive and take on a clever relevance depending on the victim.
If you don’t mind a bit of light hearted horror fun and want something simple to enjoy on a Saturday night, then THE KILLAGE might just be up your street. Although it lacks the solid punch that other horror comedies and satires have provided in the past, it does have the odd highlight.