KILLER SOFA (2019)
Written and Directed by Bernie Rao
The arrival of a reclining chair triggers a series of deaths surrounding Francesca. Suspecting that the chair is a dybbuk, Rabbi Jack and his granddaughter Maxi, Francesca’s best friend, plan to trap the spirit in a Dybbuk box and save Francesca from the living nightmare she finds herself in.
When a title like KILLER SOFA appears on your radar, you know you simply have to watch it. Hailing from New Zealand, the film follows a possessed chair as it does away with the admirers of a young woman named Francesca. Francesca isn’t your ordinary woman. It would appear that she causes a stir amongst men as they fight for her affection, even if it’s unwanted. One of her latest admirers, a friend named Federico, is being voluntarily butchered at the beginning of the movie in what seems to be some weird occultist ritual, and what should be present alongside him but the titular sofa chair. Fast-forward and said chair is delivered to Francesca who puts it in the lounge of her apartment. It’s from here that weird stuff starts to happen from saucy nightmares to people turning up dead. Whilst police inspectors Gravy and Grape are unaware of her recent acquisition and the power it possesses, local Rabbi Jack discovers its power from the moment he touches it on the delivery van. Seriously spooked by the visions he’s seen, Jack desperately attempts to find out who the chair belongs to, unaware that it belongs to his granddaughter Maxi’s best friend.
With a comedy horror film like this, the entire premise hinges on the energetic effort in bringing serial killer madness to the recliner chair and boy oh boy, director Bernie Rao and his team do not disappoint. The sofa moves, it peeks out the window and it even stalks its prey! Button eyes and a crease mouth give the chair humanistic qualities and bring emotion to the not-so-inanimate object and you can’t help but sport a wide grin every time the camera pans towards it. The use of smoke in the scene adds to the chair’s mystique and the expressions the chair pulls as it silently watches its love rivals move about the apartment will make you howl. I never thought I’d say this either prior to knowing about this film but the sofa is actually quite intimidating and fearsome as the antagonist of the movie. You genuinely fear for Francesca’s life and those who enter her apartment. This chair means business and it certainly won’t let anything stand in the way of what it wants and will use anything it can get its chair arms (or springs!) onto to do the job!
Away from the pure craziness of the movie, KILLER SOFA is a wonderfully shot movie with some brilliant performances from its cast. Jed Brophy does a terrific job with the role of Inspector Gravy who appears to be succumbing to Francesca’s allure whilst attempting to find out the killer of her love interests. Likewise, Jim Baltaxe puts in a passionate performance as Rabbi Jack who’s attempting to make his father proud by following in his footsteps and protecting those in danger against the dybbuk possessing the chair, all the while battling angina. Piimio Mei takes the lead as dancer Francesca who appears to be plagued by men throwing themselves at her but has finally found a man, in the form of TJ, who seems immune to her charms. Unfortunately for him, he becomes the first on the sofa’s hitlist…
Outrageously fun, KILLER SOFA is a thrilling slice of supernatural, sinister sofa horror.