Toronto After Dark Review: Some Guy Who Kills People
Review by Kayley Viteo
Kevin Corrigan (Pineapple Express) plays Ken Boyd, a recently released mental patient who suffers from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder from severely traumatic bullying in high school. As a new romance, an unsympathetic mother, and a surprise appearance by his 11-year-old daughter all combine to ratchet his stress levels higher, Ken’s bullies are systematically and brutally murdered. Some Guy Who Kills People unfolds in grisly yet humorous fashion, but also with an undeniable sweetness.
The chief reason I love Some Guy Who Kills People is its script, particularly the distribution of dialogue. Nearly every person who appears on screen has a funny moment, which is doubly fantastic because all of the actors give top-notch performances. Karen Black, playing Ken’s mother, is wonderfully passive-aggressive, and Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead) as would-be girlfriend Stephanie is the perfect mixture of sugar and spice. Barry Bostiwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show) as the Sheriff is the most consistently funny of the bunch, though Ariel Gade as Amy, Ken’s daughter, is a scene-stealer. Still, Kevin Corrigan is the real showstopper – perfect for this role, he’s just the right mix of quirky and dark, caught up in his own drama in increasingly absurd ways. In short, the cast is superb and the writing is brilliant. I knew this was going to be a personal festival favorite 30 minutes into it, and I wasn’t wrong.
Some Guy Who Kills People is certainly current due to the fact that it centers on bullying and its effects. This adds a level of contemporary darkness to the film, though it is often counteracted by the fact that it is also tragically hilarious and lovable. The relationship between Amy and Ken is the true heart, but this film works on many levels. This is mostly because the relationships are realistically complicated, albeit within a slightly absurd context. You find yourself rooting for Ken in all areas – his job, his relationships with all of the women in his life, and for him to simply not get caught. Though Corrigan is at his best in scenes with Gade, he is fantastic at switching from new father to awkward dater to man with a secret and back again. Without a lead actor working as well as Corrigan, Some Guy Who Kills People wouldn’t be half as good, or half as funny.
Still, credit must also be given to director Jack Perez and writer Ryan Levin, who craft a wonderful, independent dark comedy that honestly has something for everyone. More importantly, it’s one of those truly rare festival gems that simultaneously sates any lust you have for the weird and macabre, while still making you smile and warming your heart. How often does that come around?
Some Guy Who Kills People played with the short Anamnesis, which I frankly didn’t like. It was like a condensed version of Christopher Smith’s Triangle, only lacking the tension and emotional punch to the stomach. I found the narrative to be derivative and weak, though I did like the ultimate visual that the ending provides.