Director: Kirill Sokolov

Cast: Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgeniya Kregzhde, Mikhail Gorevoy, Elena Shevchenko

Run time: 95 minute

Synopsis: Things don’t go according to plan when a young woman asks her boyfriend to kill her father, ho turns out to be a surprisingly tough and resilient foe.

URL: https://youtu.be/1J3dkkJIsY4

If lockdown hasn’t dulled appetites for bloodthirsty horror and super-violence, then Russian writer/director Kirill Sokolov’s debut feature film, Why don’t you just die ?, is the one to watch, since becoming a cult favourite at festivals such as the 2018 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia and FrightFest 2019. Sokolov draws clearly on the cinematic styles of his favourite directors, Sergio Leone, Martin McDonagh, Park Chan-wook, Martin Scorsese, and, of course, Quentin Tarantino.

Although this first full-length film from Sokolov is distinctly Russian, it is strongly and uniquely characterized as a Western genre action film played out within the confines of a Moscow apartment. Nevertheless, Sokolov succeeds in telling a universal story relatable to international audiences.

The film borrows tropes (and musical cues) from the Western, with a tale in which the young anti-hero Matvei (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) is set against his girlfriend’s overbearing corrupt cop father Andrei (Vitaliy Khaev). From the chaos that ensues, there emerges – battered and bloody – a raucous, hyper-violent obloquy of Russian patriarchy (the film’s Russian title means ‘Daddy, die’).

In this action packed blackest of comedies, Matvey has just one objective – to gain entry to his girlfriend’s parents’ apartment, to kill her father Andrei with a hammer to restore her honour.

But all is not as it initially seems, as Andrei, a detective and the world’s most horrible father, proves a more ruthless opponent than Matvey anticipated.

Soon he brings together a terrible group of people in his apartment – his resentful actress daughter, an angry thug, and a cheated cop. Each one of them has a reason to want revenge, but Matvey, for his part, proves stubbornly unwilling to die.

Director Sokolov confidently assembles a coherent whole from a range of film-making styles, aided by the cinematography of Dmitry Ulyukaev and music composed by Vadim QP and Sergey Solovyov.

Streaming from April 10, 2020

Images courtesy of: Arrow Video