Written and directed by Paul Bushe and Brian O’Neill, Killers Within is the fifth feature-length movie by the Irish duo.
This Irish home-invasion horror film starts quite intense with four masked assailants kidnapping a little boy and punching his mother to keep her away, although this opening scene is rather unbelievable as well: I mean, four masked people kidnapping someone in a public park in broad daylight with nobody noticing anything? That’s a bit awkward.
Anyway, we then learn that the kid’s mother is badass police officer Amanda Doyle (Sue Walsh) who, together with her ex-husband (Jeff Doyle) and a group of dodgy people, elaborate a plan to pay the ransom and get their son back: they have to break into the house of a very wealthy family and get as much money as they can. Little that they know, the family they’re planning to rob is much more dangerous than they thought.
Although the plan, from how I described it, seems rather silly and unimaginative, the way it works in the movie is quite effective: in fact, I was rather impressed by the build-up in Killers Within, which is long and realistic. The different characters aren’t per se developed, but the actors play them in such a genuine way that they look more like real people than, indeed, actors.
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This is one of the aspects that I always like about British, Irish and Welsh films: characters in them act and react to various situations in the way you would act and react. One of the best aspects of Killers Within is that the dialogue flows naturally, it doesn’t appear to be scripted, which makes the first act of the movie very much enjoyable and intriguing.
Unfortunately, the good premise gets ruined as the story progresses. Unlike you’re a devoted conspiracy theorist, you’ll probably feel the same way I do. If you watch the movie, you’ll understand what I mean by that!
As soon as the horror-related stuff happens, Killers Within loses its potential and impact in favour of formulaic home-invasion action… awkwardly mixed with sci-fi and creature-feature elements.
Even though I respect the filmmakers for trying an original approach to the sub-genre, their attempt falls flat as the low-budget doesn’t allow them to craft interesting fight sequences and the music becomes more and more uninspired.
Although Killers Within features some graphic and gory sequences, the way they’re shown – simply put, it’s too dark to fully appreciate them – makes them rather frustrating and unsatisfying. On top of that, sloppy editing and exposition-driven moments really break the pacing, which really is a shame because, despite its shortcomings and issues, Killers Within is never really boring or dull.
Also, once you get to the last 30 minutes, it becomes quite obvious as to how the film will end, which makes the ending itself not really worth waiting for.
Granted, Killers Within is still a good way to kill (see what I did there?) some free time, but it’s not a movie experience I would recommend. If you’re interested in other horror flicks dealing with conspiracy theories, click on the images below to get some movies about conspiracies:
Killers Within 5/10
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