Family drama can be tricky to navigate. When a family member is getting married, it’s time to let the past die and let bygones be bygones. When a group of women in a remote cabin for a bachelorette party are attacked by strangers, the past isn’t the only thing that will die.
KILLER KATE! follows Kate (Alexandra Feld) as she decides to bite the bullet and attend her estranged sister’s bachelorette party. Deciding to forego the usual hotel party experience, the group of four rent out a cabin in a remote part of California through a home sharing app. There is already tension between Kate and the rest of the group from the moment they get together, despite her sister’s efforts to keep the peace. They make it to the cabin and start the celebration, only to have it abruptly interrupted by a group of uninvited guests. What begins as a bachelorette party turns into a fight for survival between two families, and only one will reign supreme.
Writer/director Elliot Feld and co-writer Daniel Moya manage to take a basic home-invasion premise and deliver something that still feels fun, fresh, and thrilling with KILLER KATE! There is great tension in the film before the home invasion aspect even begins. This tension builds between the women at the bachelorette party. The sisters have their own history that we don’t know much about, other than the fact that they have been estranged for several years. There is also tension between Kate and one of the bridesmaids, who seems to resent her taking the “best friend” position on the trip. There is even some brilliant tension between the killers before the killing begins. They are a family, and as with any family they have their own issues, and some of the family members seem less inclined to partake in this killing spree than others.
The “why” behind the killing caught me off guard a bit. Throughout the entire film I was expecting it to go in a certain direction. I was happy to be surprised, since that doesn’t happen often these days, but the motive has some flaws. The motive is great because it’s unexpected and it has a cultural relevance today, yet it doesn’t seem like enough to make a family want to go murder a group of strangers in a cabin. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the film.
There are several very strong performances in KILLER KATE! The most prominent is of course from Alexandra Feld (Slate Your Name) as the titular Kate. Despite her somewhat quite demeanor, it becomes clear fairly early on that when Kate wants something, she will make it happen. Feld delivers a compelling and strong performance as she battles the intruders while also dealing with the issues she has with her sister. The other two performances that will stick with you after watching the film come from the killer family. First up is Tiffany Shepis (Victor Crowley) as Christine, the only female in the group of murderous siblings. Shepis manages to be the most sinister in the group while also delivering some pretty hilarious lines. Grant Lyon makes his feature film debut as Christine’s brother, Jimmy. Jimmy seems to be the brains of the operation while also being the least thrilled to participate in the bloodshed. This makes for some hilarious scenes where Lyon shows that inner turmoil. The entire cast will leave you laughing and gasping in turn.
KILLER KATE! is a darkly humorous home-invasion flick with a twist. The filmmakers took a premise all horror fans are familiar with, and gave it a bit of an update for the modern age. With humor interwoven between thrills and kills, it’s hard not to have fun watching this film. Combine that with the acting talents of Alexandra Feld, Tiffany Shepis, Grant Lyon, and the rest of the stellar cast and you get a little something for everyone to enjoy.
You can catch KILLER KATE! in theaters and on VOD October 26th.