MRR Review: "U Want Me 2 Kill Him"

Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company

Rating: ?
Length: 92 minutes
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Directed by: Andrew Douglas
Genre: Drama / Thriller

"U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" is a dramatic thriller about two teenage boys who fall victim to the hazardous world of Internet chat rooms. The movie unravels the story of two British schoolmates, Mark and John, who become wrapped up in an online web of lies, which eventually leads to one of them being stabbed. The film is packed with plenty of surprising twists that keep viewers questioning the truth until the end.

The opening scene shows Mark in an interrogation room under investigation for the stabbing of John. He claims that it was necessary for the greater good. Detective Sarah Clayton investigates the reasoning behind John's stabbing and eventually uncovers the truth about the two boys.

Mark is 16 years old and becomes fascinated with frequenting chat rooms. In one of the chat rooms he visits, he meets a girl named Rachel. Mark is entranced by Rachel, and the two begin to discuss her abusive boyfriend, Kevin. Mark quickly falls in love with Rachel and is sympathetic towards her stories of domestic abuse. Rachel begs Mark to befriend her loner brother John, and he agrees.

While the two teenage boys become friends, Mark learns that Rachel has been killed by her boyfriend. Mark is filled with rage and starts to plot his revenge but learns from another online source that John is possibly involved. Janet is a special agent who befriends Mark and suggests that John is a person of interest in Rachel's murder. As Mark starts to lose his sanity, he uncovers that Rachel and Janet do not exist and that John has been pretending to be different people in order to get to him.

The movie was loosely based on a true story that overwhelmed British tabloids in 2003 and was reported in full by "Vanity Fair" in 2005. The identities and details have been fictionalized for protection. The real story about the two boys revealed the ugly truth about 14-year-old John and his childhood thus far. Eventually John became so wrapped up in his fabrications that he stopped eating just to spend more time on the Internet. He found Mark to be such an easy target that he created more than six fake personas, one of which planned his own stabbing. John survived the stabbing, and the real-life events led to a groundbreaking and unprecedented legal case.

"U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" assumes its audience is not aware of the true story. It is told from a typical procedural point of view. The events are not told in chronological order, and the truth is not revealed until the final scenes of the movie. The cinematography adds elements of suspense and awe to the story, which keeps the audience guessing.

Director Andrew Douglas effectively structured "U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" to establish the main characters as a criminal duo, although one of them was unaware he was being fooled. Douglas is also known for his exceptional work on movies such as the remake of "The Amityville Horror" and the short film, "Miracle of Phil."  Writer Mike Walden paired well with Douglas to develop and deliver a compelling story of bizarre events.  

Jaime Blackley and Toby Regbo, who star as Mark and John respectively, won the best performance in a British feature film award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Blackley is known for his roles in "The Borgias" and "Snow White and the Huntsman." Regbo is recognized for his work in "Mr. Nobody" and "One Day." Together the British-born actors deliver strong performances in "U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" that make the movie hypnotic and ultimately very satisfying.

Joanne Froggatt of "Downton Abbey" fame plays the perplexed Detective Sarah Clayton. She gives an outstanding performance as the key investigator in the mystery of John's stabbing. Froggatt captivates the audience by engaging them in her journey as she uncovers each clue and missing piece of the puzzle. Although Rachel and Janet are fictional characters created by John, their existence is brought to life by actors Jamie Winestone and Liz White. Viewers praise both their charm and wit throughout this startling film.

Although the story starts out slow, it develops into a series of peculiar events that leads to an eerie climax that emotionally impacts its audience. The provocative cyber-thriller sheds light on the realities of online anonymity and how frighteningly easy it is to manipulate people via the Internet. "U Want Me 2 Kill Him?" is a story of betrayal and deceit and is a must-see for young movie goers.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5