Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013 – uwantme2killhim? (2013)

uwantme2killhim?, 2013.

Directed by Andrew Douglas.
Starring Jamie Blackley, Toby Regbo, Joanna Froggatt, Liz White, Jaime Winstone, Mark Womack, Amy Wren, Louise Delamere, James Burrows and Stephanie Leonidas.

uwantme2killhim?

SYNOPSIS:

A teenage boy’s descent into the dangerous world of the Internet and the harrowing consequences of his actions. A true story.

uwantme2killhim?

The title of this put me off somewhat: it suggested a director who was stuck in the Internet of ten years ago, who didn’t understand the way modern people communicate. As it turns out, the true story upon which this is based happened exactly ten years ago, so I can’t fault anyone for antiquated methods.
Though unfortunately, I can fault the film for its poor treatment of its own twist. It’s apparent from very early on in the story that something is amiss, and one intelligent guess unravels the whole plot. Most of the intrigue lies in the whys and wherefores, which manages to keep the suspense going until the grand finale, but with a lesser feeling of amazement than had the twist been better cloaked, which was a real shame.
While the structure of the film left a lot to be desired, I very much enjoyed the characters and their development. Jamie Blackley was excellent as Mark, a starry-eyed teenage boy, hankering for a world beyond his humdrum life. It’s this desire that draws him into a world that is dangerous in a way that he can’t understand; he only sees opportunity to create his own dramatic life-story. His involvement with John (Toby Regbo), the quiet, ‘weird’ schoolboy around which this world centres, is really pleasant to watch. There is genuine camaraderie and honest friendship between them, and such teenage relationships aren’t often shown with such candidness so well.
The film is exceptionally dramatic, with plenty of thrills, which may not be to everyone’s taste. I personally thought that the over-dramatising was crucial in saving the film from a twistless demise, giving the audience more to focus on than just the final reveal. DI Sarah Clayton (Joanne Froggatt) was surprisingly good as the hard-nosed but soft-hearted policewoman investigating the case. She balanced the good-cop/bad-cop tropes in such a way that she escaped cliché altogether, and I found her performance genuine and enjoyable. In a completely irrelevant inclusion, she is very heavily pregnant: director Andrew Douglas claimed afterwards that it was to give her a more maternal sympathy, and I wish that had been explored more during the film.
uwantme2killhim? is a film that is blessed with incredible source material, which days later continues to circle my mind. The actors involved give incredible performances, and all I can say is that it is a great shame that the reveal came too early. Aside from that flaw, the film could definitely have been my number one film of this year’s festival.

Flickering Myth Rating Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★

Samantha Morrison

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