Imagine American Psycho mixed with Wall Street plus a good splash of Trainspotting and you’re well on your way to understanding the premise for Kill Your Friends
Yeah, I know, it never really works for me, when a film is described by naming a bunch of other movies, but when the movies mentioned are both good and pretty different, it’s still a way of saying Kill Your Friends is absolutely its own film. And really, any comparison to American Psycho is just a bit difficult to miss, when you’re talking career advancement and the willingness to kill whenever it helps you.
In any film with such a hardcore topic, you need to have a strong lead and Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) certainly delivers on that point. He’s also the narrator of the entire story, which means you’ll see him in pretty much every single scene. But who he is, and what he presents to people, tends to be as different as night and day.
He’s ambitious, but in the annoying way, where passion and knowledge matters less than just hitting the jackpot. And since his career is in the music business that means he’s focusing on the next one-hit-wonder instead of the “real” talent. Of course, he doesn’t really see it that way. Probably because he’s surrounded by people in higher positions. who know even less about music than he does, while those who work under him, seem to still have passion (and a good ear) for music.
While Nicholas Hoult is amazing as the lead character, Steven Stelfox, he’s also in very good company with James Corden, Georgia King (Cockneys vs Zombies), Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street), Joseph Mawle (The Hallow) and a wonderful little appearance from Rosanna Arquette. A really great cast, where each actor brings their own little brand of craziness to the character – or even just some common sense, which is a short supply when it comes to the characters in Kill Your Friends.
There’s a lot of drama in this movie, but towards the end it’s much more thriller and horror, so you’ll get a bit of everything. More than anything, you feel like you get a peak into the music industry as it was back in the 1990s. Still, no matter what industry you’re in, you can probably recognize the various types of people, we meet in Kill Your Friends, which makes it a very universal story about greed and ambition. Oh, and a lot of drugs, but not that much sex and rock n’ roll.
Kill Your Friends is available via VOD
Director: Owen Harris
Writer: John Niven
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Thomas Conroy, James Corden
An A&R man working at the height of the Britpop music craze goes to extremes in order to find his next hit