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Kill Her Goats (2023)

'Kill Her Goats' is a recent horror comedy from writer, director and producer Steve Wolsh. And in all honesty, on paper this sounds like a great call back to the golden era of slasher movies, a group of teens in an isolated lake house location with Kane Holder in taking up the mantle as a brutish killer called 'Goatface'. Unfortunately from the opening moments it was very apparent that this was going to be a major swing and a miss.

As much as I can appreciate that ambition from Wolsh to try and take on so many elements of the production process himself, the lack of input and ideas from other people more often than not leads to naivete in the over quality of the final product. This is certainly the case her from 'Kill Her Goat'. His amateur sense of direction, irritating over use of poor POV camera work and abrupt editing techniques make for a really distracting viewing. However, his biggest failings come in his abilities to write a single line of natural flowing dialogue for his cast.

It's clear pretty early on into the movie that the casting decisions were made primarily based on the attractiveness of its female cast and the size of their breasts, not their capabilities as actresses. With "actresses" Arielle Raycene, Monica Sims and Ellie Gonsalves staring as the central focus cast, all of whom have no prior credits to their name and it shows here. And although it was great to see Kane Hodder return to staring as a hulking mask serial killer once more, his limited screen presence and overall lacking in substance make me question why he is such a big focus of the marketing for 'Kill Her Goat'.

The plot itself is wafer thin at best. With little to no exposition regarding any of the characters and the situation they are in, I spent more of the movie in a state of confusion as to what was going on rather than anything else. It becomes very apparent in the closing act the writer and director Wolsh lost all control of his narrative as characters we have followed throughout make complete shifts in personality and motivation. Given the basic formula that most slashers follow, I struggle to understand how he managed to get such a simple enough premise so wrong.

I will give this movie credit for one thing though, and that is its great kill sequences and its use of practical effects throughout. And although the kills themselves are sparingly due to the small cast, it was appreciated when we did eventually get to see them on screen. Given how terrible everything else is around it, I was rather impressed to see this side of its production had some redeeming qualities. Had the director focused more of his attention to producing more horror elements to his story, rather than long lingering shots on his female cast physique, this may have received a more favourable response from critics.

As I mentioned earlier, on paper this sounds like a great call back to the golden era of mindless teen slashers, and in many instances there are a lot of moments where I can see what director Wolsh was trying to achieve. I think had he not tried to take full control over the production, there is potentially something here that could have come together well enough to produce a few decent slasher that horror fans would be talking about for years to come. Unfortunately, as it stands it is a misguided mess that will be lost amongst the sea of bad slasher movies it was trying to pay homage to.



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