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Most movies aren't necessarily bad, they are just incredibly formulaic and therefore nothing more than mediocre. "First Kill" definitely is such a movie, that isn't doing things terribly wrong, but isn't ever doing things terribly well either.

It is an even slightly below average movie, which is not necessarily due to its lacking script, but its lacking execution instead. The movie really misses any form of good tension or a good enough mystery to turn this movie into an effective thriller. I don't think it is even fair to say that the script lacks good thriller elements, since all of the right ingredients were really there. It makes it all the more disappointing that the actual movie rarely works out as a good and effective enough genre movie. Hard to say if this movie truly would have been way better in the hands of a more capable director, but I am strongly leaning toward yes.

Not to put all the blame on director Steven C. Miller. but he never seemed ab;e to capture the right mood and set up the story and characters effectively enough for this movie. First of all, what does he think we are; a bunch of vampires? I just don't get why movies always are so keen on having a very dark atmosphere, while also being set mostly during the nighttime. A dark tone and atmosphere is fine, as long as there is some context to it as well. By simply being just dark you never create any context and simply create a unappealing and depressing look for your movie that, needless to say, isn't ever very inviting- or engaging enough to watch.

Thing like this already make it hard to get into a movie, but added to that gets the fact that things are never really made interesting, story-wise. There is never a sense of true danger and mystery, mostly due to the way how the characters handle their situation. The movie lacks any good emotions, which is also due to the acting. Hayden Christensen isn't a great leading, since he lacks the right kind of required charisma and emotions to carry his role of loving dad and main protagonist. He remains pretty emotionless throughout the entire movie, which seems a bit weird, seeing the things his characters has to go through. I also don't really know what Bruce Willis is doing in this movie. I would even say that his role is a very unnecessary one and maybe the movie would have been a better and more focused one without him in it. Willis isn't bad his role, but he nevertheless fails to make much of an impression with it.

But it is not just the acting, also the storytelling really lets this movie down. It just doesn't know how to ever set up any surprising, tense or mysterious moments. There of course are plenty of surprises, after all, it remains a thriller, but none of it really works out, since the movie fails to ever become a truly interesting and engaging one. Part of this is also due to the fact that the movie never flows very well and the movie its pace remains a tad bit too slow. Despite this, the movie still remains a fairly short one, though it most definitely feels much longer, which in this case isn't a very positive thing to say.

It otherwise actually remains a pretty well made movie. Despite its dark atmosphere, it still has a pretty good- and professional look to it. Certainly no amateurs at work here, though the movie still fails to work out on most levels. I can understand why some people would still be interested in this movie, judging by its trailers and images, but in the end it remains nothing more but a far too formulaic and poorly executed genre attempt.

Far from the worst thing ever, but honestly, why should you ever see this movie? I certainly don't have any answer to that.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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