Killer's Kiss

(The Unknown (2007) is also not in the Letterboxd database, so I will review it briefly here.)

This amateur film is possibly not what I was trying to get from Netflix when I put it in my queue, but I have no idea which film by the same name I was likely actually looking for. This is a simple, poorly acted horror film with almost no suspense whatsoever, no matter how hard they try. They have decent set up, a solid little mystery, but the execution is so dull and badly written in terms of dialogue that it makes it difficult to engage with the film. The gore effects are a bit fun, though.

The main problem with the film is its treatment of suicide as some sort of narrative period, using it to neatly wrap things up. It feels lazy at best and offensive at worst, and it doesn't really give any closure to the story. While closure isn't always needed (and here, I'm not sure it would have mattered, as I didn't much care...), it would have been a step in the right direction.

December count: 93/100.

Killer's Kiss is a solid noir outing from Kubrick that has hints of some of his later style. It's dark, but not nearly as bleak as his better work. It has some wonderful imagery (the rooftop chase, the boxing match), but it's still got some rough edges. The story itself isn't all that interesting, and the happy ending feels a little unearned. Really, the ending was almost out-of-tone with the entire rest of the film.

But it certainly had its fun with the chase. Up the fire escape, across the rooftops, wide shots and low shots and smooth action all combined to make a lovely little piece of action that was followable as well as exciting. I can't quite put my finger on why it stands out so many hours later, but it definitely worked on me. I'm no Kubrick-worshiper, but I respect his abilities. It seems he was showing promise even early on.

December count: 94/100.

Sally Jane liked these reviews