Independent film companies at times produce masterpieces which truly alert the senses and satisfy a curious audience, and Benny Loves Killing is certainly one not to be overlooked.
Insightful, chilling and real are three words that would aptly describe this fresh horror from Look/Think Films. The story of Benny, a film student who is determined to make it as a film-maker on her own terms, is one which is open to interpretation.
Along with the chaos she faces in trying to find out who she truly is in her own mind and life, Benny throws herself into her project of trying to make a post-modern horror film. We meet her as she is going through the process of securing funding to cover the costs of it. She is a habitual drug-taker, who seems to self-medicate with this addiction whenever any sign of stress, whether big or small, envelops her. Her character is one that audiences may find hard or unresponsive, especially because she complains consistently about never being heard, even though she is never one to listen. Attempting to get the funding for her film is going against the rules set out by her film course, and yet she is determined to get what she wants. Admirable, some may say; others would disagree heavily. Benny is also homeless, shifting from one stranger’s sofa to the next, this being awash with unwanted sexual advances, rejection and disappointment. She appears to have no social dimension, and every relationship, from that with her equally troubled mother to her film producer friend, is fraught with tension and experienced through gritted teeth. Benny seems to think she knows everything, and yet seems to do little to nothing. For this, as a character, she should be hated by the usual standard. Pauline Cousty’s performance however, is profound, and she manages to bring a new and somewhat endearing element to Benny’s character that may not be expected on face value.
And of course, the big question is does she choose redemption or does she delve deeper into her warped reality? That is something which you would have to watch the film in order to find out.
The film won the Best Horror Film award at The Oregon Independent Film Festival and also scooped three awards at the Pollygrind Film Festival, which included the accolade of Best Foreign Language Film.
Director and Writer Ben Woodiwiss gives you what is described as 'both a love letter, and a bullet, to cinema.' in the form of Benny's story. The film is powerful in itself and starkly parallel to Benny's mental and deep-seated weaknesses displayed throughout, reflecting what you may find in yourself during the course of your lifetime. This is what makes Benny Loves Killing real. It isn't perfect, but it is perfect in its intent. Like life itself, it is raw and difficult, and this makes Look/Think Films a rare beauty to be found in film-making today. Benny herself proves to be a character with which the audience may find hard to relate to in some ways, but you cannot help but worry over her decisions and the directions her mind takes her. Daring to be different and being brave enough to assess the real tragedy of trying to find your feet in a world where everything is so vast and complicated is shown in this film. Benny is our complicated hero, and we follow her journey through this production.
A definite 'must see', Benny Loves Killing and Look/Think Films are spectacular with their take on the typical do's and don’ts of cinema, and will have you begging for more after only watching the first scene.