A scene from Some Guy Who Kills PeopleSome Guy Who Kills People is set to be the sleeper hit of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. Though it screened at 1:30 pm on a Sunday afternoon, it was surely one of the strongest films programmed this year. Executive producer John Landis knows something about horror films, so his backing of this movie gives it a little more clout – though it’s more than capable of impressing audiences on its own merits.

Ken (Kevin Corrigan) recently returned home from a pretty long stint at a mental institution. He’s lonely, depressed and working a thankless job. However, things begin looking up: he discovers he has a wonderful pre-teen daughter, Amy (Ariel Gade), and he meets a lovely girl, Stephanie (Lucy Davis). And as almost a bonus, the guys who mercilessly tormented Ken in high school are being brutally murdered and the local sheriff (Barry Bostwick) has no idea who is committing the crimes.

This film is smart, witty and incredibly funny with a dark humour that’s really appreciated. Karen Black is expectedly excellent as she portrays Ken’s mother who takes a dig at him every chance she gets. Bostwick is side-splitting with some of the best lines in the film. These two veterans, along with the rest of the actors, are so perfectly casted, it seems like kismet. Corrigan is recognizable from countless appearances in other films, but here he’s finally given the opportunity to carry a narrative and proves worthy of the task. His almost natural brooding and timing for dark comedy is ideal for this role.

Typical of the small town dynamic, the jocks that were jerks in high school are now intimidating adults who continue to bully Ken. When they begin turning up dead, the sweet revenge can only be applauded. Moreover, the sheriff’s approach to each crime scene is hilarious (some of which is sampled for the trailer). He’s so nonchalant about the gory mess he discovers at each location, yet proceeds cautiously when the clues begin to point to a suspect.

The introduction of Amy and Stephanie into Ken’s life is a sudden and unexpected ray of sunshine that breaks through his regular gloom. Amy is energetic and talkative, eager to get to know the father she was never allowed to meet; while Tracy is a little strange herself and attracted to Ken’s peculiarity. Ken is cautious in entering a relationship with either female, though even his wall is slowly broken down by their interest.

The narrative is captivating from beginning to end. The mix of murder investigation and mundane life is perfectly balanced, and the humour flows seamlessly through the entire movie. There aren’t any real holes to be found in the storyline and details are revealed gradually throughout.

Some Guy Who Kills People is fitting for an afternoon screening, though the only disadvantage is many may have missed its brilliance in the early timeslot.

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