Making A Killing


Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Chad's wife is murdered. When the life insurance firm won't pay out because a body hasn't been found, Chad's friend Jake (Hywel Morgan) decides to fake a murder and force the company's hand. He ropes in Vic (Billy Geraghty) and Sarah (Deborah Sheridan-Taylor) to help with the scam. As you can imagine, things don't go smoothly. Greed and double-crossing soon become the main order of business.

It's hard to be overly critical of Making A Killing. Writer/directer Ryan L Driscoll is a first-timer, his budget presumably small and his cast largely unknown. Despite the constraint of inexperience, they've turned in a clever little film that knows its limits and comfortably achieves them. In the grand scheme of things, these limits aren't very far-reaching, but everybody has to start somewhere.

Making A Killing is vaguely reminiscent of Hitchcock's Vertigo, in that what initially appears to be a rather mundane thriller continues beyond where it would usually wind up and takes the plot to a new level. Where Making A Killing fails is that it takes things too far, attempting to shoehorn in every possible twist, rather than picking a few smart ones and sticking with them.

The audience, subconsciously guessing what's going to happen, is unsatisfied because every theory they've considered has cropped up by the time the credits roll. Also, not all the twists sit comfortably with one another in retrospect, but at the time of watching, there's enough goodwill from the audience to suspend disbelief.

The other major disappointment of Making A Killing is that, even allowing for inexperience, there aren't any great sparks of potential shining through. The direction is competent, safe and rightly resists the urge to attempt anything overly showy, but for all the close-ups on poised knives, there's not much tension.

The acting is similarly competent across the board, but lurches into hammy from time to time, particularly when evil is portrayed. More experience, a better cast or a better director would have weeded these moments out.

All praise for Making A Killing comes with caveats, but so does all criticism. A comfortable average.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2005
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Making A Killing packshot
Things go awry when friends fake a murder to get life insurance cash.
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Director: Ryan L Driscoll

Writer: Ryan L Driscoll

Starring: Sean Gallagher, Billy Geraghty, Hywel Morgan, Deborah Sheridan-Taylor, Milton Johns, Gregory Cox, Catherine Fitzlanders

Year: 2002

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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