Friday, September 16, 2011

Kill Katie Malone and Getting What You Wish For: A Movie Review

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*a screener of this film was provided by American World Pictures.

Director: Carlos Ramos Jr.

Writers: Carlos Ramos Jr. and Mark Onspaugh.

Kill Katie Malone is a horror film from first time director Carlos Ramos Jr., which deals with a trapped soul and a cursed box. This title will release in the United States on DVD and Blu-Ray December 13th and horror fans might want to take notice. Three friends, Jim (Stephen Colletti), Dixen ( Jonathan 'Lil J' McDaniel) and Ginger (Masiela Lusha), try to solve the mystery of the box, while friends and acquaintances lose their tongues, their body parts or their lives. Proving that curses never die and that they are passed down through families, Kill Katie Malone is an enjoyable time spent in the darkness with a blood-thirsty ghost!

Jim buys a supposed haunted box off of for a lark. The box promises to grant wishes, but there is always a price to pay, isn't there? Jim's friend receives his wish for a little more spending money, while Dixen receives the rose she asked for. However, faculty and students begin to turn up blood-soaked on the college grounds, which seems to be lampooning Michigan State University. Go Spartans! But there is no football here and only a desire to now get rid of the box. Katie, who is housed in the box, does not take well to abandonment and soon the climax brings this apparaition forefront, ready to get down to some real bloody business.

The story's mythos begins with Katie, a young Irish servant girl. She was bought as a slave and mistreated by several masters. She was beaten and left to fend for herself in a frozen farmhouse, until she eventually passed. Yet, her spirit would not let go of the physical world. So she remains trapped within an old worn box, understandably frustrated by her past and her current position. She takes out these frustrations by appearing as a young, innocent girl. Then she changes shape and screams at least one character into oblivion. Her supernatural powers do not end there, as Katie appears in mirrors and in character's bedrooms late at night. Katie is here to stay unless Jim can sell her off to another unwitting victim.

And Greek mythology reminds us that curses are not so easily given away. Thyestes was the King of Mycenae at one point, but so was his jealous brother Atreus. So jealous was Atreus that he fed Thyestes his own children, with both brothers cursed by the gods for their murder of Chrysippus, another King of Mycenae. This curse would pass to Thyestes' later son and daughter (Pelopia, Aeigisthus), who would both die violently. Once cursed, from ancient legend at least, the curses continues through the bloodline. In Kill Katie Malone, this tradition holds true as Dean Cain's character, Robert, just cannot get rid of the cursed box.

Kill Katie Malone could have used some additional special effects in some of the death scenes. Characters are whipped about by an invisible force and a shot of Katie here or there in mist could have amplified the tension; this is a minor criticism. Overall this was an enjoyable film and hopefully Kill Katie Malone finds an audience when it releases in December. Check this one out in the heart of winter when darkness reigns and curses follow characters to their unavoidable doom.

Writing/story: 8 (strong point here, good characters, solid plot).
Themes/delivery: 7.5 (curses can never be solved, can they?).
Special effects/cinematography: 6.5 (lots of shots of a dorm' room and special effects were required for the above mentioned shots).

Overall: 7.3 out of 10 (not imperfect, but enjoyable).

*as an aside, Dean Cain only appears in 2-3 scenes. So, if you are a fan of Cain, look elsewhere.

Another review of this title at Horror Talk:

Kill Katie Malone Reviewed by Steve Pattee

Release details for Kill Katie Malone at Phase 4 Films:

Kill Katie Malone Reviewed by Steve Pattee

Kill Katie Malone at American World Pictures w/trailer:

Kill Katie Malone at Phase 4 Films

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