Genre : Horror-Comedy
Rating : Unrated
Director: Elliot Feld
A mild-mannered office drone, Kate gets an invitation to a bachelorette party from her estranged sister, Ange. At the behest of her dying father, Kate reluctantly accepts. Despite the joyous occasion Kate struggles to fit in with not only Ange’s friends but with her estranged sister. As tensions within the group reach their peak they are suddenly attacked by a family of criminals. With their lives on the line, Kate isn’t willing to go down without a fight.
In his feature debut director Elliot Feld tackles familiar territory, the terrors of a home invasion. With a plot reminiscent of You’re Next and The Strangers it follows a lot of the same beats. Feeling just as familiar is the direction in the movie. Although Feld does a good job making the most out of his small set it doesn’t necessarily stand out. So, is this your typical home invasion movie? Not quite. Instead of aiming for a gritty, tension filled thriller it leans more into the comedy. Written by Feld and frequent collaborator Daniel Moya the gags sprinkled throughout works for the most part thanks to a focus on slapstick. Reminiscent of early Sam Raimi the family of home invaders are portrayed more like the Three Stooges than the Firefly Family. Unfortunately as fun as these antagonists are it feels out of place with the rest of the movie.
Juxtaposed against the bumbling family of killers is Kate and her bickering bachelorette party. With tension as soon as soon as Kate arrives each of their scenes feel more like they’re from a CW show than a horror movie. Made all the more awkward when they immediately cut to a couple of reluctant killers figuring out how to poison champagne before going back to the bachelorette party who get catty over a name game. It makes for a disjointed movie that starts to work once the two groups finally meet.
This can be seen most in Alexandra Feld’s portrayal of the titular Kate. Despite a lack of much character development Kate’s transformation into a horror heroine plays out well. I could totally accept that she developed a killer edge once her sister is in danger. Speaking of which I was also pleasantly surprised by the chemistry between Kate and Angie (Danielle Burgess). As shallow as their characterizations can be the two work well on screen and feel like real sisters. Just as memorable is the family trying to kill them. Led by the shadowy Briskman (Robert Donovan) director Feld was able to get a group with some phenomenal comic timing. I was particularly impressed by scream queen Tiffany Shepis as Christine. Typically the one getting chased down by the killer she does a great job playing straight woman to her goofier counterparts.
Home invasion is one of the most versatile ideas in film. Commonly thought of as a thriller and horror trope some of the most successful attempts have been outside of genre film. Movie such as Home Alone and Housebound have proven that it can work as a comedy as well. Unfortunately for Killer Kate!, it doesn’t work out this time. Despite a strong cast and some funny set pieces an inconsistent tone and cliché filled story hurt the end product. I see a bright future for the cast and crew, I just don’t think it worked out here.