Take a Drink: for every pop culture reference.
Do a Shot: every time someone says something shallow.
Take a Drink: for every flash of Joe Vision.
Do a Shot: every time we see one of George’s horrible videos.
Take a Drink: every time someone responds unexpectedly.
Do a Shot: every time Emma mentions a song she wrote.
By: Hawk Ripjaw (Three Beers) –
Joe (Matthew McKelligon) is a killer. He’s moved out of therapy and moved on from killing small animals onto killing his week-long fling with an irritating new boyfriend. George (Jeffery Self) is a YouTube content creator. Joe likes George’s videos, so he tracks him down to meet him. George likes the idea of Joe being a serial killer, so they date. None of George’s friends trust Joe, but George still finds the idea of Joe being a killer funny, buying into Joe’s “twisted sense of humor” and failing to connect the dots as his friends continue to disappear.
You’re Killing Me thrives on a weird, funny and unsettling vibe. On occasion we’ll get a quick glimpse into Joe’s mind, which consists of quick flashes of a bound doll, spaghetti, or a blood-drenched Joe. Whenever Joe kills someone, the soundtrack kicks into a euphoric shoegaze track which juxtaposes nicely with the unpleasant, surprisingly mean-spirited violence.
When Joe isn’t killing people, he’s finding himself surrounded by the incredibly shallow idiots that can barely go two sentences without making a reference to a celebrity or themselves. These scenes are surprisingly funny, as they frequently play into your expectations of how an exchange of dialogue will play out before promptly turning that completely around, whether it be involving wine or George’s excitement over running into Jenna Elfman at Target.
It takes a couple of scenes for You’re Killing Me to find its footing, as the initial “Trivia night” that introduces Joe comes on fairly aggressively with its characters. It could also have something to do with the fact that it can feel somewhat scattershot with its comedy, whether it’s aping the bright YouTuber mentality, the current pop culture obsession, or that it’s occasionally unclear which side of the line between “pretentious” and “parody” the movie treads upon. When it is clear, it’s great fun.
By the third act, the movie has written itself into a corner and, unable to figure out how to resolve the plot, sort of just ends things. There isn’t a satisfying arc to the story and characters, and there really isn’t any major resolution to the story, with a final scene that feels undeserved and honestly like something that should have had more setup.
You’re Killing Me spends a lot of time with the running joke of “look at these vapid millennials and their self-absorbed pop culture fixation.” It’s funny, if fleeting. What works is a surprisingly cohesive mashup up of comedy, slasher horror, and romance. Most frequently, it amounts to a huge, steaming dump on the shittiest of generations and their incredibly shallow demeanor. Absolutely everyone, save for Joe, is an incredibly shallow, stupid asshole, and watching these people is part of the fun. It’s here when the movie is at its best; when it tries other things intermittently, it’s less successful. At 90 minutes, it’s nice and lean. And certainly, it’s a lot of fun and cleverly written and directed. However, the lack of focus doesn’t really amount to much more than a silly, slightly forgettable movie with enough talent to blossom into much more successful future projects. Still, you should really see it.