Kill Katie Malone
College students and best friends Ginger Matheson, Jim Duncan, and Kyle "Dixie" Canning, pool their cash to buy a "ghost" in an online auction. The three think it's all a goof, but once they open up the antique box to examine their "treasure," they unleash the vengeful spirit of an Irish servant girl who has been wreaking havoc on her owners throughout the generations.
October 10, 2010
Mark Onspaugh , Carlos Ramos Jr.
Carlos Ramos Jr.
Masiela Lusha as Ginger
Stephen Colletti as Jim
Jonathan 'Lil J' McDaniel as Dixie
Every once in a while it’s tough to jump into a review. Kill Katie Malone is a tough one to sit through, and subsequently, a tough one to review. There’s some spirit in the picture, and it’s obvious that everyone involved is making a genuine effort to create a quality film, the problem is… well, most of those attempts are made in vain. And the truth of it all is, if there’s honest fault to claim for the flick’s failure, the bulk of that fault has to fall on the shoulders of writers Mark Onspaugh and Carlos Ramos Jr. (who also directs) who deliver a lazy, uninspired and laughable script.
This one is a spin on the dybbuk box, so, you’re probably very familiar with the story thanks to the much more successful picture, The Possession, which hit the market two years after the arrival of Kill Katie Malone. If you’re not familiar with the tale, it goes something like this: some poor unfortunate soul makes an online purchase. The item is a box, which is said to house a ghost, or entity of some sort (the factual elements of the story differ, slightly, as does the script for The Possession). In regards to Kill Katie Malone, the purchaser of the box is three friends, students who see some intrigue in the online auction and pool their money in order to afford it (because $50 bucks is a deal breaker for privileged college kids; okay, that was snotty, but c’mon). They don’t necessarily expect the box to truly contain a ghost, but there’s a novelty to the whole situation that calls to these naïve youngsters. So of course they buy it! When the box arrives things go south in a hurry. They basically treat the box like a genie ensnared in a lamp, making requests of the box. When these requests go answered by the entity in the box, someone winds up dead.
The story doesn’t really stick to that rule, however. What essentially happens is this: anyone that doesn’t necessarily get along with the focal trio ends up dead. So, the genie in the lamp angle kind of flies out the window. Somewhere along the lines the story becomes about vengeance, or revenge, or… ah hell, I don’t even know! The picture opens on a promising path, and the idea of a haunted box is cool, but there’s no sound, consistent design in the conflict. There’s just a weak excuse to kill off a handful of bit-players. Oh, you don’t get along with that random guy? Death to him! That’s a tough sell for intelligent audiences.
The performers, Masiela Lusha (Ginger), Stephen Colletti (Jim) and Jonathan ‘Lil J’ McDaniel (Dixie) all do their best with the material they have. But that material just doesn’t allow for much in the way of shining. The truth is the material is, well, embarrassing. This isn’t even a ho-hum script, it’s just a terrible script. If you think I’m being a little savage here, think about this: Dixie, at one point in the film, is accused of plagiarism by one of his professors. So, before we know it, that professor is being attacked by the “ghost in the box”, and when Jim and Dixie learn of the “accident”, Dixie immediately jumps to the conclusion that… Jim had something to do with it. His best friend. His “brother.” Yeah, that’s logical… it’s not the thing in the box that’s already been terrorizing Jim, Dixie and Ginger… it’s just Jim… you know, taking out a teacher because he’d do that for his “brother.” His “brother” that is apparently more than prepared to throw him under the bus. What… the… f – eh, I probably shouldn’t be surprised, given the way this one unravels.
Despite a myriad of flaws, there are a few eerie moments in the picture. I’ll refrain from spoiling those moments, as those few fleeting seconds are the only truly redeemable qualities of the film. When all is said and done, what we get from Kill Katie Malone is an absurdly sloppy story, special effects you’d expect to see on a throwaway SyFy original, a damn anticlimactic conclusion and generally silly attempts at frightening the viewer (you’re going to nearly die laughing when Ginger almost runs face first, in slow motion – practically – to a fork). Ooooh that was a close call there! The fact that the very same gag is attempted twice in the film tells you just about all you need to know about Kill Katie Malone. If you’re interested in the core idea of the story, once again, watch The Possession, a far superior movie that utilizes the same story as inspiration.