Back in 2008, the slasher flick titled ‘Killer Movie’ starring Paul Wesley, Kaley Cuoco, Jason London, Torrey DeVitto, and Leighton Meester premiered during that year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
These stars were just starting out back then, and thanks to this movie, they have become among the well-known actors and actresses in showbiz.
However, fans and critics alike didn’t like the first movie that much as it received a mere score of 4.5 on IMDB. But three years later, the director decided to release another version titled ‘Killer Movie: Director’s Cut,’ which premiered on August 27.
Nothing much changed, though, as Jeff Fisher, the helmer of the initial release, still returned to pen and direct the second take, and it’s no surprise that the difference isn’t that much. The main cast too features in the revised edition with the hopes of making it a bit if not a lot better than the first movie.
The story is set in the winter of 2008 during a time when television director Jake Tanner played by ‘Vampire Diaries’ hunk Paul Wesley, is out of work after the reality show he was working on is axed. In trying to land a new gig, his agent Seaton Brookstone played by Nestor Carbonell, gets him a new one that involves tracing the unlikely winning streak of a high school hockey team located in the remote areas of North Dakota.
When Jake arrives in the new town ready to kickstart his job, things just seem off. A local cheerleader Jayne Hansen played by Leighton Meester, recently had an accident that decapitated her, leaving the whole town shaken to the core, making his gut churn with uncertainty. Also, Jake has to deal with the high-maintenance celebrity Blanca Champion a part by Kaley Cuoco, who is quite the diva and a handful to handle.
Now Blanca is in the small town trying to keep a low profile as she waits for a tabloid scandal to cool off and is using this time to research a new movie role. She is tired of playing high school teenage roles and wants to be taken seriously by trying her hand at method acting and to blend in she must help the crew in shooting the reality show.
Things start off pretty normally with the crew and cast getting together before soon the team members start disappearing, and now Jake realizes his gut feeling was right all along and something is amiss on this set and with this new project.
The body count soon starts piling up swiftly, making the director pretty worried. He starts investigating who the murderer could be with the list of suspects ranging from an ex-convict residing in the woods who also happens to be the dad of the young girl Jayne who brutally got beheaded in the first scene, the short, fused hockey coach who’s petty with every single thing and even the dead cheer leader’s boyfriend Chance who happens to be the coach’s son.
The storyline isn’t precisely new at all and is packed with the usual horror flick cliches such as Jayne’s truck not starting when she really needs to flee from the killer, the area having barely any reception, people going out in the woods alone at night despite recent happens, people separating when they should be sticking together and of course when looking for their lost colleagues, the murder never seems to be in a hurry to catch his victims but still does it anyway, they go around calling out their names which definitely gives away their location to the cold-blooded killer.
The movie starts slow but picks up pretty quickly. The kills are swift, quiet, and brutal, with the psychotic maniac chopping off his victims’ hands, using chains and ropes to strangle them, and stabbing them multiple times. His mission is not to injure but to kill.
The villain is pretty terrifying, seeing how he handles his kills, but a majority of his prey doesn’t really have a chance considering he knows exactly when and where they are at all times, giving him the upper hand.
However, audiences are pretty impressed with the cameraman Luke played by Al Santos, as he at least gives the murderer a run for his money. For a moment, viewers are rooting for him to at least overpower the villain and make it out tell the story. Sadly, he never lives to see that day.
It is pretty confusing, though, why the killer is killing the crew, what time he managed to set up all the surveillance cameras, and the story behind his obsession. At some point, we learn that it’s the drive for authenticity as he is obsessed with Blanca, and then one can’t help to wonder whether there is a more significant motivation or trigger behind it.
All the crew members are pretty decent, normal, and understanding except for the sound girl who is such a douche bag, and at some point, Jake has to straighten him up for his disrespect. Audiences will be intrigued, though, to find out his connection to the killer.
The score is perfectly used in the movie. Where someone is about to be sent to their maker, the tempo goes up, and the volume is cranked up. When the victims realize what’s happened, the music complements the emotions instantly. High-paced scenes, equally fast-paced music, and all marry in excellently. The editing is also great, and the camera work is quite decent.
The performances are outstanding. Wesley as Jake plays it cool as the boss of the project, Cuoco is fantastic as the celebrity Blanca. It is really funny how she is so fearless regardless of her status. Her running around in her tiny outfit and high-heeled pumps is hilarious.
‘Killer Movie: Director’s Cut’ is a fantastic slasher flick, and the ending leaves viewers on a cliffhanger hinting at a continuation, maybe a sequel. Despite being a bit dated, it is still a great movie to watch; however, for those with a weak stomach, steer away from this one as the murder scenes are as macabre as can be.