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Alyce Kills – 6

Director – Jay Lee

Cast – Jade Dornfeld, Tamara Feldman, James Duval, Eddie Rouse, Larry Cedar, Yorgo Constantine, Megan Gallagher, Rena Owen, Tracey Walter

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

When I first read about Alyce Kills I was very interested in giving this a watch thanks to what appeared to be an interesting character study storyline. I don’t come across too many of these films anymore, and while they do not tend to come with the utmost in horror/kills they can provide a highly engaging experience if done right. Writer/director Jay Lee improves his craft after Slaughter and Zombie Strippers, this time giving us a fairly good story with borderline-positive direction. Alyce Kills proves to be Lee’s best film to date, and while it did a few things right I did not enjoy this flick as much as I expected to.

After foolishly pushing her best friend off of the roof of her high-rise apartment complex, Alyce delves into the dark underbelly of her city, and then her thirst to kill again must be quenched.

It takes a while for the film to get to the good stuff, but Lee’s screenplay had me hooked from the start. The opening sequence lasts a good 16 minutes and gives us insight into the life of pre-murderous Alyce – a quiet girl with a good heart, yet one with a taste for the sins that have always escaped her…until now. After pushing her friend off of her roof we see a changed Alyce seeking pleasures like drugs and sex, and eventually these pleasures are met by her insatiable urge to kill. For the majority of the film the kills are kept at bay and we are instead treated to a pretty good story heavy in the development of Alyce’s current character. We get basically no development regarding her past or what lead her to become the way she is, which some may balk at and others may enjoy as it leaves mystery on the table. Her downward spiral includes a bartered relationship with a lowly yet philosophical drug dealer, who became my favorite character in the film. Eventually the kills do hit the screen late in the film and they come in full force. Lee manages to add a humorous feel to the kills, and even Alyce herself was laughing as she dished out her executions. If this was one thing I did not like about this story it was the fact that I did not enjoy Alyce as much as I wanted to. I know I am not alone when I say I want to root for the protagonist killer, and in this case I did not care for Alyce very much. At times I found her character annoying, which was naturally the exact opposite of what I was hoping for from someone I am supposed to enjoy.

Jay Lee did a damn good job of attaining my attention from the get-go and keeping me glued to the screen for the remainder of the first act. His gloomy atmosphere is a foreshadowing effect of the events that would eventually unravel, and his execution of the film’s daunting scenes was pretty good. He provides expert direction during the kill scenes, making them brutal and shot in a full-frontal fashion to provide maximum effectiveness. Jade Dornfeld’s performance as Alyce was fair, giving us a good performance regarding her downward spiral but just like I mentioned earlier, I was not a big fan of this character and I felt the acting and directing execution had as much to do with that as the writing did.

Overall, Alyce Kills is a cool character study that is dark, moody, and gives us a few good kills as well. It does have its faults in both the story and the direction, which ultimately keep it from being something great. As a borderline-positive film you may enjoy this more than I did, so it may be worth a look for yourself.

Rating: 6/10

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