Killer Sofa (2019)
Directed By: Bernie Rao
Written By: Bernie Rao
I really wanted to find something special to write about for my first piece for slasherradio.com. When I saw this movie, I knew this had to be it.
Killer Sofa is a new horror film out of New Zealand that is, oddly enough, about a killer recliner. For the life of me I can’t figure out why they didn’t name this movie Slay-Z-Boy. Shockingly this film about a killer recliner has few laughs. I was expecting to either laugh with this movie or at it but it is played straight throughout. The story centers around a young woman who gets a recliner that turns out to be possessed. What exactly it is possessed by is a bit confusing, it’s either a guy who dabbled in black magic 100 years ago or her ex-boyfriend who also dabbled in black magic and was stuffed into the recliner. The film makes an attempt to clarify what exactly is happening but I had trouble following it. Yes, I just admitted that I had trouble following the plot of a movie called Killer Sofa. At any rate the recliner seems to be in love with her and kills off other guys who come around. There is nothing spectacular about any of the kills. The little gore that is on-screen looks good but it’s pretty tame.
The premise is ridiculous but no one seems to be treating it that way. Everyone involved commits to the story instead of winking at the camera along the way. The lead character, Francesca, is played by Piimio Mei and she delivers a solid performance. There is a point late in the story when her character makes a major shift and you see the change in her eyes. It’s quite impressive. Plus, it can’t be easy to convincingly act afraid of a recliner but she does that too. The other two stand out performances from Killer Sofa are Nathalie Morris as Francesca’s friend Maxi and Jim Baltaxe as Maxi’s grandfather, who happens to be a rabbi and plays a key role in discovering the recliner’s possession. The rest of the cast is good but these three really shine in this movie.
You have to give writer-director Bernie Rao credit for never winking at the audience with this film, despite it’s over the top story. He even works to add in a bit of deeper meaning by taking a look at the way that men treat women. Throughout the movie we are introduced to male characters who have become infatuated with Francesca due to some sort of curse, including the lead detective investigating the deaths surrounding the recliner. There is no doubt that it is a curse as we see the negative impact that these men have had on her life.
Killer Sofa is fun but not as fun as you would expect. It’s campy but not as campy as you would expect. It looks at the relationship between men and women but not as deeply as you would hope. In short, this movie is everything that you would expect it to be but it doesn’t take anything as far as you would hope.
WOULD I SURVIVE? After watching a horror movie I like to ask myself if I would have survived if I were placed in the same predicament as our characters. At first, the answer here seemed to be an easy “yes” but upon further examination, I don’t think so. There is no way that I would believe that a recliner was killing people and I would sit in the thing just to prove a point and thus end up dead.