Soon to be released dark comedy-thriller Kill Your Friends promises us a now familiar trope of joyless entertainment- expect to loath what plays out in front of you, but simultaneously enjoy it.
The film is an adaptation of the acclaimed original novel by the darkly comic author John Niven, in which every other page spits graphic sex, drug use and violence. Set in the late 90s Brit-pop era, hateful protagonist Stephan Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult) narrates a viciously satirical insight into the corrupt world of the music industry whilst murdering his way to the top of the record label in which he is reluctantly employed.
With the trailer basically being a party scene montage, the film’s promo certainly bolsters industry mutterings that its producers would probably rather be quashed; that the film is merely a sour cocktail of the sociopathic behaviour and horrifying hedonism that we’ve already seen in The Wolf of Wall Street and American Psycho. It may well explore similar territory, but excitingly, Kill Your Friends is British. The film boasts a strong British cast, a proudly loathsome London setting and the music as expected, is an explosive killer soundtrack featuring The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers.
Niven infamously turned down the chance to sign Coldplay during his own career as an A&R man, which is something of a blunder-turned-blessing for those who are prepared to be attacked from the outset with acidic one liners and expert satire. The cult novel may not be suited for the faint-hearted, but this film adaptation is in the hands of director Owen Harris who has previously directed episodes for popular TV comedy series Misfits and the acclaimed dark drama Black Mirror, qualifying him (hopefully) to make Niven’s thriller not only stomachable but ubiquitously entertaining. The fact that it is Harris’ feature debut and the screenplay is written by Niven himself promises Kill Your Friends to be a project of passion and loyalty.
It is inevitable that you will think of it as a rainier, British version of American Psycho, but the spanner in the works comes in the form of a supporting performance from James Corden. Allow yourself to feel initially confused by this, but then very excited.
Kill Your Friends (2015), directed by Owen Harris, is expected to be distributed in the UK by StudioCanal UK on 6th November 2015. Certificate TBC.