Thursday, June 14, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

Fear 3/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 5/5

While not a horror film in the truest sense, there are plenty of moments in We Need To Talk About Kevin that will induce cringes and make you want to bring your knees up to your chest while you sit on the couch and wonder 'How the fuck can one person be so messed up?' The film takes the creepy kid in horror or dramatic thriller to a whole new level. Kevin makes Damien look like a saint.

Tilda Swinton plays Eva, a woman who at the onset of our film is living alone and being terrorized in her day-to-day life. From blood red paint being strewn across the front of her house to being sucker punched in her work parking lot, she obviously did something to draw the ire of the townsfolk. As our story alternates between time periods, we see just what happened to this simple, quiet, but strangely reserved woman.

We go back to where Eva and her husband Franklin (played with goofy but likeable aplomb by John C. Reilly) welcome their son Kevin into the world. From the beginning, the kid gives Eva fits as she stays home with him as Franklin works a day job. From standing in front of a construction worker's jackhammer to quell the incessant screams to getting indignant stares after being asked to roll a ball during his early development, this is a history which is beginning to be painted as very troublesome.


Flash forward during his later adolescent and teenage years and things have become that much more concerning: Kevin has mastered the art of manipulation to get what he wants, he makes no apologies for random acts of destruction and violence, and he even subjects his sister to his sick, twisted, sociopathic ways. This is one demented kid with no real rhyme or reason for being the way he is other than having a mother who probably should have done more to keep this kid in check (read: slap the shit out of him).

Things eventually become worse as a wedge is driven between husband and wife. Dad is completely oblivious despite mom's claims that something is wrong with Kevin and that something needs to be done about his behavior. Dad continually waves her off and actually adds fuel to the fire as he enthusiastically supports his new found love of archery. Our film eventually concludes in heartbreaking fashion and our monster shows absolutely no remorse for what it is he's done.


This just might be the type of film that encourages more vasectomies in men or tube tying in women. If you are on the fence about kids, you may say 'No thanks. I'll get another dog.' This film is unrelenting disorder and unprescribed chaos from beginning to end. Despite the wife's meek and un-confrontational nature, this family was not deserving of the horrors which befell them.

With fantastic performances and one gut punching finale, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a phenomenal film and character study. How can one person be so morally bankrupt? Is it a natural antithesis to being born to such a quiet and reserved mother? I shudder when I think about the prospect of people like this existing in the real world.

Cortez the Killer

7 comments:

Hey! Look Behind You! said...

I don't want to have kids and this movie solidified that for me!

Dr Blood said...

Tilda Swinton always gets these great roles. I almost bought "The Deep End" out of the Wal-mart $5 bin yesterday. This is another one that the horror fans are slowly picking up on in the midst of yet another real horror famine.

Planet of Terror said...

@Hey! Look Behind You, I can see why. The whole film just had this pervasive feel of nothing getting better for the family and things will come to a head. Insane to think you could have two good people and one insanely bad egg.

@Dr. Blood, The Deep End eh? I've never heard of it. Just might have to seek it out for myself.

Dod said...

Such a creepy movie. Tilda Swinton really nailed it, and that Ezra Miller kid? Good lord...

The movie made me feel a cringe in my soul whenever something innocent entered Kevin's circle.

I'll just get that dog instead, please. Name him Cujo..it'd be safer.

Planet of Terror said...

@Dod, that's a good way of putting it. I definitely felt an increasing amount of unease each time someone new entered the picture or he just felt like doing something to seriously mess with his mom's psyche.

That bathroom scene? Egads!

Emily said...

I found this movie incredibly effective, even with a few issues here and there. Swinton is one of the best actors of this generation.

And yes, as someone who's never had a big desire for kids, this movie did indeed give me new reasons why! I'm not saying it changed my life and made up a major decision for me, but this is one of the only films I've seen that truly captured what could come with someone becoming a parent when they don't necessarily want to be.

Peter Canaan said...

Complete garbage. Story had great potential, but execution was lacking. Looked like something a kid in film school would make. And on a final note, enough freaking red! We get it!