Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Killin'

Director: Kevin Powis
Writer: Kevin Powis
Producer: Kevin Powis
Cast: James Harris, Becky Neal, Chris Stanton
Country: UK
Year of release: 2005
Reviewed from: screener DVD
Official site:

Here is an enjoyable, professional-looking ten-minute comedy horror film from one-man band Kevin Powis (soundman David J Nock, who was a werewolf victim in Full Moon Massacre, is the only other credited crew). It’s a simple tale of three Brummie friends, walking home through the woods, scaring each other with stories about an unsolved brutal murder which occurred in the same spot three years earlier.

James Harris (jokey James), Becky Neal (exasperated Becky) and Chris Stanton (introspective Tod) flesh out their characters into believable and likeable people. Siddique Hussaine (who doubled as stills photographer) rounds out the four-strong cast as ‘the man in the woods.’ The dialogue has gags about Ring, Psycho and Friday the 13th but uses them to illuminate character rather than just show off the director’s video collection.

Powis’ direction is taut and his editing is slick. There are some nice reveals which show that he knows what he is doing with a camera. The sound is good (which can be quite an achievement shooting entirely on location at this level of budget/production) and the photography is crisp.

There are no real scares - the ‘horror’ element is discussed and implied, not shown - but there are some real chuckles. Comedy is the hardest genre for low-low-budget indie producers to work in, but Powis does a good job. It’s not a laugh-out-loud funny film, it’s not meant to be - but there’s a nice, light touch to the characterisation that is deftly handled.

Well-made, fun to watch and doesn’t outstay its welcome. I wish I could say that about more films on this site. The Killin' has been screened at cinemas in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

MJS rating: A-
review originally posted 20th November 2005

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