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Friday, April 7, 2023

‘You’re Killing Me’ Review – An Uneven But Entertaining Ethical Thriller

Desperate people do desperate things. This timeless fact of life is plain to see all throughout Beth Hanna and Jerren Lauder’s You’re Killing Me, a teen thriller invigorated by its own clever setup. While the execution may not go off without a hitch, the movie keeps the audience’s attention, due in large part to its sense of real-time urgency and engaging dilemma.

Going to college with her best friend is important to a scholarship kid like Eden (McKaley Miller). So much so she would ask her classmate Schroder (Brice Anthony Heller) for a big favor; she wants his father, a congressman, to write her a recommendation letter. This could be Eden’s only chance to get off the waitlist and into her dream school. In the meantime, a classmate of theirs has gone missing, but no one at school is so concerned that they would skip Schroder’s Angels and Devils party. Eden has already compromised her ethics once, and she’s willing to sink a bit lower if it means getting that letter.

The moment You’re Killing Me practically screams “go,” the story picks up for the better. Eden, after dragging her bestie Zara (Keyara Milliner) to Schroder’s party, makes a startling discovery. And it’s her knowledge of this dirty little secret that changes the story’s overall tone. What could have been used as leverage in her own favor ends up being a barometer for every character’s sense of morality. Eden has already made herself seem questionable after asking Schroder to bend the rules for her, yet now comes the deciding factor that separates the main character from everyone else in the movie. There’s no time to think in this kind of taut thriller, so Eden’s sudden moment of clarity in a tense and breathless situation is estimable, if not a tad idealistic.

The second act is where You’re Killing Me is at its best. Now knowing what she knows, Eden has to find a way to get that info to the proper authorities. Similar to movies like Green Room, the story instantly becomes one of survival and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Standing between Eden and her freedom — not to mention justice — are three obnoxious teen terrors whose extracurricular activities could cost Schroder’s father the upcoming election. Their struggle is admittedly never all that physically combative, but what does transpire during this stressed act is nevertheless effective.

After what feels like one long, sustained breath, You’re Killing Me hits a notable snag before coming to an end. The entire predicament dangerously approaches unsurprising territory as other new characters enter the story. Not only has this break created a small lull following some pleasant pacing, the movie also takes one predictable turn after another. This is the movie sloppily restating its transparent message about the rich and powerful getting away with their misdeeds while the less fortunate only continue to suffer. It’s another classic theme that gets a lot of mileage, especially in today’s genre offerings. This movie, however, doesn’t contribute anything new to the conversation. At the very least, seasoned actors Dermot Mulroney and the late Anne Heche, whose roles are smaller than their top billing might suggest, liven the dark story up.

Acknowledging but not fixating on the frustrating denouement, You’re Killing Me remains a compelling and, at times, grim lesson about how doing the morally responsible thing doesn’t always end well for the upright party.

You’re Killing Me is now playing in select theaters, and is also available on Digital and VOD.

The post ‘You’re Killing Me’ Review – An Uneven But Entertaining Ethical Thriller appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3757453/youre-killing-me-review-an-uneven-but-entertaining-ethical-thriller/

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