Sunday, 10 February 2013

Killing Words (2003)

AKA Palabras Encadenadas.

An excellent psychological thriller/horror movie from Spain that plays out, for the most part, as a two-hander focusing on Dario Grandinetti and Goya Toledo, Killing Words is a fun, polished piece of entertainment similiar to classic movies such as Sleuth and Deathtrap (which needs an R2 disc release ASAP).

Grandinetti plays Ramon Diaz, the disgruntled ex-husband of Laura Galan (Toledo). When I say disgruntled I actually mean REALLY disgruntled. Ramon has held a major grudge against his wife because of the lies that she told during their divorce. He now wants payback, in a big way, and part of that will involve making her admit to the lies she told. Viewers don't know just how serious this man is, but the film veers between a present situation with Ramon helping police who are searching for Laura and the past battle of wills between the angry man and his ex-wife.

Based on a play by Jordi Galceran, Killing Words benefits from a smart script co-written by Fernando de Felipe and director Laura Mana. It also has a great cast. Fernando Guillen and Eric Bonicatto are the two policemen trying to catch their man, and do very well, but the best moments are those between Grandinetti and Toledo. Both get to take turns at spitting out the insults and both do it very well, while Toledo also has moments in which she seems genuinely afraid for her life.

It's not as smart or unpredictable as it might like to think it is, but the movie does have plenty of twists and turns that are fun and sprinkles enough intelligence throughout every scene to make it all seem a cut above the many dumb films that fill up places in the Top 20 week in and week out. I THINK, and I may be very wrong here, that there are one or two major mistakes/plot holes/illogical moments, but I'm looking forward to rewatching the movie and seeing if the movie is flawed or I am just not as observant as I'd like to be. Whatever the answer, while the film is on it's great fun and you'll only start picking it apart as the end credits roll.


Killing Words is showing today at The Filmhouse in Edinburgh (buy tickets here) as part of the run up to the 20th Dead By Dawn horror film festival.

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