Dir. Owen Harris
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“So here’s what I do. I listen to music - singers, bands, songwriters - and decide which ones stand a good chance of commercial success…. Sounds easy?”
Hello Britain - it seems we have our own rival to Patrick Bateman, the infamous American Psycho. Meet Steven Stelfox (Nicholas ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Hoult) an Artist & Repertoire
(A&R) man whose job is to pick the next big music thing, he’s also a truly detestable, misogynistic, immoral scumbag who is more than prepared to kill his co-workers or indeed his friends.
"smooth but dangerous"
It’s the 1990’s and Britpop groups like Blur and Oasis are setting the pace whilst the public are still actually buying albums by Menswear and Gene too. Stelfox has ambition to take his boss’s job as Head of A&R but his colleague Waters (James ‘Into The Woods’ Corden) is more likely to get the post due to his seniority.
Yes the credits have barely rolled when the Waters is left for dead having been slipped an insane amount of drugs. From then on Kill Your Friends becomes a deeply twisted take on Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment - just with more swearing, sex, greed and drugs, all to a killer ‘90s soundtrack which has to be the best of any film this year.
"Hard at work"
Hoult pulls off the confidently evil lead role with aplomb and he’s backed up by a fun cast of varying ability. D.C. Woodham (Edward ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’ Hogg) is the long arm of the law which threatens Stelfox but this copper is an unfulfilled musician himself. Also caught in this bleakly dark comedy music-and-murder-em-up are rival, and more successful scout Parker Hall (Tom Riley), plus Stelfox’s scheming assistant Rebecca (Georgia King).
Kill Your Friends is a full-throttle bad taste big screen adaption of John Niven’s biting exploration of the music industry which pulls no punches and is hilariously wrong and violent. As the plot tightens like a noose around Stelfox’s foul-mouthed Britpop Psycho, his serious mental health issues start to leave a bloody body count. Which is awkward as you’ll be highly amused despite the carnage.
"The dubious pop talent"
This film really isn’t for the faint of heart or easily offended but if you want to stare into the moral abyss, laughing as you go, and reminiscing over some quality tunes, Kill Your Friends is more (to use an Irvine Welsh measure of excellence) Trainspotting than Ecstasy, which is good news for psycho lovers everywhere.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - getting a 'hit' can be murder... )
Awesomeness ööö – touch darkness and it touches you back
Laughs öööö – deeply funny but oh so wrong
Horror öööö – gets very nasty in places
Spiritual Enlightenment -ööö - kill your morals