Killer Friends is a short horror-comedy written by Zach Noe Towers and co-directed by Towers and Tina Carbone. The film stars Jenna-Lee Carreiro, Dave Racki, and Peggy Sinnott alongside Towers, who plays the indestructible jerk himself, Scott.
With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?
Killer Friends starts off with three friends sitting in a car discussing their nefarious plans to whack another one of their friends and Jill’s (Carreiro) roommate, Scott. Jill and her boyfriend, Bryan (Racki) are all for it, while Heather (Sinnott) has her reservations and offers up some alternatives to such an extreme way to end a friendship. As an audience member, I’m initially inclined to side with Heather’s point of view.
But then Scott rather rudely barges into the car, and before any pleasantries can be exchanged, he immediately starts in with the backhanded comments that cut like a knife with his flamboyant flare for nailing the obnoxious attitude. It doesn’t take long for Heather to switch sides or for the viewer to empathize comedically with the cast.
Scott unabashedly takes a jab at an innocent Heather at every turn. He takes liberty with his attacks on her; from insulting her body odor by comparing it to the smell of the bug spray, to completely gas-lighting her by implying she’s overweight with a food addiction when she’s clearly a thin young woman. Despite him being so awful to her, Heather still shows compassion towards him.
The Perfect Plan Fails
When they reach their destination, a campsite in the woods, the plan is set in motion. In a series of mishaps, it seems that in a twist of karmic fate, she who came up with the plan is the one who keeps getting hurt. Meanwhile, the target of the plan is not harmed or even aware of the intended harm to his person. Jill is burned, falls into a rock-bed, and is bitten by a snake while not a hair on Scott’s head is out of place.
When Jill is defeated and realizes that Scott is indestructible, Scott, Jill and Bryan sit down around a campfire – and a happy solution is found when Scott announces he’s moving out, but…where’s Heather? She sneaks up with a surprise twist ending, cleverly done, as I never saw it coming.
The Most Fun You Can Have With A Horror Film
Killer Friends is a “horror” short that is fun to watch, which even the scaredy-cats can enjoy. This is a man vs man story, so there are no monsters or demons, and it’s not a psycho-killer slasher type with lots of gore that’s going to leave you paranoid of your neighbors and sleeping with the lights on. No, the theme is much more simple here: don’t obnoxiously annoy your friends to death. It was quirky, enjoyable and new.
For a night shoot, the lighting was well done. The camera work was tight. The editing brought it all home nicely and the score was a perfect touch. The writing was well done in Killer Friends, but what was even better was the delivery.
This was a solid cast who nailed their performances. Each character was believable and relatable – even the indestructible jerk, who is still lovable in his own weird way. The actors had great onscreen chemistry with each other, and they didn’t miss a beat. Carreiro‘s expressions were animated, while Sinnott had great reactions. I look forward to seeing more from this cast. Even if Towers’ performance was a little over-the-top, that fit perfectly for the overly snarky and flamboyant nature of the character. As a writer, Towers displays great talent with this short piece, which he also co-directed.
This ten minute film was unique, refreshing and more enjoyable than a lot of the feature mainstream horror or comedy films that the studios have been giving us lately. It was one location, two if you count the car. It was done-low budget, but really well, without all the flashes and gimmicks.
Hollywood could learn a thing or two from this crew. In fact, I really hope this short is a prelude to a feature version of this film.
How do you deal with your obnoxious friends?
Does content like this matter to you?
Become a Member and support film journalism. Unlock access to all of Film Inquiry`s great articles. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about cinema – get access to our private members Network, give back to independent filmmakers, and more.