WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! ***** Russia 2018 Dir: Kirill Sokolov. 99 mins
Knocking on the door of his girlfriends parents apartment with a claw hammer behind his back Matvei (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) is greeted by the father, Detective Andrei Gennadievitch (Vitaliy Khaev). Matvei was asked by Olya (Eugeniya Kregzhde) to kill her father for her as she claims he raped her when she was twelve and has subsequently ruined her life. Now Olya might not strictly be telling the truth but it is safe to say that Andrei is most definitely not father (or husband) of the year. Bullied wife Natasha (Elena Shevchenko) would certainly agree with her daughters plans if she wasn’t so petrified of Andrei. Not only that but, of course, he is questionable as a Detective too in fact he recently screwed over his only friend Evgenich (Michael Gor) in the force out of some dodgy money they were supposed to split so Evgenich could save his dying wife. Andrei decided to keep it all for himself. After a huge fight between boyfriend and father (inadvertently discovering the money) Matvei is unfortunately over powered, chained to the bath tub and tortured by Andrei to find out who sent him. On hearing that Matvei failed Olya is called over to explain a few things… that indeed is where the proverbial excrement hits the ventilation system in true splattery goriousness as this dysfunctional family implodes in a spectacular way.
This is by far one of the best movies I have seen in recent times. It has everything (except zombies) that you need to make you laugh, cry, recoil in horror and really route for the characters. Incorporating some impressive camera work like slow motion, super close up and then speeding things right up again just for a few seconds. It also conveys a great sense of suspense by using deliberate overly long lingering shots and pauses in dialogue to fantastic effect. At times it is quite a grisly black comedy with some fabulous gore detail and truly squimish moments of tongues investigating plugholes in a desperate attempt to escape, legs being drilled (“I made a sieve of his leg”) and a cringeing super slo mo TV-meets-face-with-some-force smash. As well as this it is gritty and bleak as you watch the kindest and most downtrodden character, Natasha, finally give up and the differing responses it promotes amongst the others. The characters are superbly acted and you quickly become familiar with them without too much backstory. The soundtrack is a well thought out mix with a brilliant track by The Hatters called “Fuck You” over the end credits. Sokolov has made a standard plot idea come to life and created a visually stunning movie that really needs to be seen by everyone!
Review by Sarah Budd