Killer Book Club
Thank God It Is Friday but after ages it just doesn’t feel like the weekend brimming with new releases. There were a string of OTT releases lined up but the reviews of it have been deferred. And it has to do more with the mindless creative decisions of the OTT platforms to first promote their content and later back off. While Jio Cinema has continued its trope of releasing daily episodes of Bajao despite being called out on earlier, I am particularly furious with the creative heads or the so called MBAs of Hotstar who are on a sabotaging spree!
If it was their shows The Night Manager and Criminal Justice 3 which were sabotaged earlier, it is the new Tamannaah starrer Aakhri Sach which has been reduced to a weekly show. With supposedly 8 episodes, the show is out with only 2 episodes with new episodes thrown in every Friday. My question is why? Does Hotstar think that the discussions around the show are going to last for over 2 months especially in the reel culture? Why would you promote your show in the first place, only to backout later? It is about time that these creative heads are fired for successfully drowsing the platform even with its limited paid subscribers. Gosh am I furious or what!
But because it is Friday and I had to ring in a review, I decided to watch and review the new Spanish slasher film Killer Book Club which is freshly brewing on Netflix. The slasher genre isn’t particularly new with the likes of the Scream franchise ruling the roosts for over 3 decades. But it is a fun genre if done correctly. So then the question remains on whether Killer Book Club is worth your time, stay tuned!
Story & Screenplay
Killer Book Club follows a group of youngsters who are hunted down by a killer clown. Who is the masked killer? The story here is not novel by any stretch of imagination but it definitely promised to be a fun watch on paper despite its similarities with the Scream franchise. However it is the screenplay standing at a shade under 90 minutes is what flatters to deceive with its patchy writing and the predictability of the plot. In fact, the proceedings are so cliched that you can’t care about who is being hunted down next!
The drama opens with a little bit of prelude which doesn’t really present anything about the plot. But the bad news is that it isn’t long enough to seem inviting enough. If you remember the slasher films of the Scream franchise, the opening sequence is often that sets the ball rolling for things to follow. Often, it marks the introduction of the killer who has the potential to send a shiver down your spine. But no such luck here! Soon you are invited to a bunch of teenagers who are a part of a book club at their university until an incident prompts them to get back at their professor. What seemed like a routine prank soon ends with a murder! And this was the point when the excitement of a slasher genre should have seeped in. But the events are flat as a pancake!
The proceedings are uneventful despite the host of killings that take place. And that was due to the fundamental flaw in its writing that just doesn’t raise its stakes enough. In a classic slasher film, the rules are laid out for every character based on which the audience is always a step ahead of the characters thus leading to the buzz. But here the audience is exactly on the same wavelength as its characters. What’s more is that even the bodies of people dead aren’t recovered or even shown to the characters that would have atleast set the cat amongst the pigeons. The events were just so routine without any highs. Only briefly was I interested in the mystery which I managed to crack as early as one-thirds into the film!
The predictability of the plot was just so cliched that any horror fans who may have a streak for mysteries would be able to guess the killer here. It was just so clear as day and night that I was barely sitting through the motions waiting for the film to end. The killings are also not staged well at all with the victims being killed off in a jiffy without any buildup. This is perhaps the weakest slasher film I have watched in ages that falls completely flat in its final act. Overall, the screener is far too weak to care about anything else despite promising to be a fun outing on paper.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are cheesy and just about adequate. The BGM is just so typical that I couldn’t care less about various scenes. The cinematography with the lighting is good and atleast tries to build an atmosphere of fear in the minds of the viewers. The red light(from a message) reflecting on the characters was somewhat promising in this hot mess. The editing is patchy. Director Carlos Alonso-Ojea completely makes a hash of things here. His direction is flat and doesn’t elevate any scenes in particular! The direction was a complete mess!
The performances are pretty average which are further accentuated by the fact that there is no character development in picture. It almost seemed like the characters weren’t written! Only Alvaro Mel as Sebas, Carlos Alcaide as Rai, Ivan Pellicer as Nando and Veki Velilla as Angela manage to standout. The rest aren’t even worth mentioning.
Killer Book Club is a wannabe slasher film that drowns in its own predictability. Perhaps, the weakest slasher film that I have watched in a while! Available on Netflix.