I would think that starring in an indie horror film is kind of stressful: the long days, the short pay, the stretched budget. I can only imagine that the filmmakers deciding to actually try to kill you for the sake of their film would bring that stress to a whole new level. That is the general idea behind Cut Shoot Kill, a film recently released on VOD.
Cut Shoot Kill was written and directed by Michael Walker (Chasing Sleep 2000). The film stars Alexandra Socha, Alex Hunt, Phil Burke, Jay Devore, Lexi Lapp, Zanny Laird, Josh Salt, Michael Oberholtzer , Lance Channing, Kett Turton, Ian Flanders, Nils Lawton, Keenan Jolliff, Henry Zebrowski, and Kyle Harris.
Serena Brooks, an ambitious young actress, signs on as the star of a horror film with a crew of backwoods filmmakers that have worked together for years. When the cast starts disappearing, Serena has to become her character if she wants to survive.
What I Liked
Cut Shoot Kill has a great concept: Actors being killed for real for the sake of a director’s art. This leads to some genuinely unnerving scenes with the actors thinking they are just acting but actually being killed on camera. These scenes are all made even worse because the characters are all, for the most, likable, so seeing them die for something that could easily be done with make up effects and a solid performance is kind of crazy. The kills are really well done. There are some throat slashings, an arrow to the stomach, stabbings, and more, and they are all intensely shot and performed. I liked how dedicated to this the filmmakers in the film were. They managed to keep it a secret until damn near the end with only one character (the lead) suspecting.
Alexandra Socha was convincing as struggling actress Serena, walking the fine line between wanting to deliver a great performance while sticking up for what she feels is right for the character. Phil Burke did a great job as Blake. I loved how, for the majority of the movie, he was mostly quiet and reserved, but when the time came, he fucking kicked ass.
What I Didn’t Like
I felt like Serena’s character development near the end of the movie wasn’t true to the character. She left someone she loved to die, so why would she go out of her way to save someone she barely knew? The ending felt forced, like they were trying to make you feel sympathy for the murderous filmmakers, and it really didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t like that the filmmakers were supposed to be friends who had worked with each other for years but they had no real emotion when there own friends were killed. It felt like they didn’t care.
Cut Shoot Kill is intense and twisted, all while still being a fun and enjoyable film. That being said, I wasn’t really a fan of the direction they took Serena in for the final act, as well as how the film atually ended. Overall, Cut Shoot Kill is a brutal and fun horror film with a great cast and excellent kills. Be sure to check it out on VOD.