Why Don’t You Just Die! is the grammatically incorrect but perfectly accurate English title for this 2018 Russian comedy-with-blood. Lots of blood!
From the first scene we know what territory we are in, as a young man rings the doorbell of a flat whilst hiding a hammer behind his back. As he does so the lift arrives at that floor, a lady with a large barking dog exits and walks behind the young man, holding the dog back from attacking him. This is shot in a confident, stylish way. We can see the nervousness of the young man rising quickly – you can tell this isn’t something has done before. When the door is eventually answered, we find out the young man is called Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov) and he is calling at the home of his girlfriend’s parents, Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev) and Tasha (Elena Shevchenko). This initial encounter between the father and the boyfriend is tense. Very tense! It doesn’t take long before this boils over, and when it does the movie leaps into overdrive – we have swinging camera shots, fast edits, blood, flying household items, blood, weapons and more blood but this violence is cut through with a razor-sharp wit and some excellent comic timing from all involved. How we got to this point is told through some well placed flashbacks, and we discover some truths that place doubt on the moral character of our protagonists. Then we have more blood!
I loved this movie. The director is obviously a fan of genre films and this has elements of samurai movies, heist films, Edgar Wright-esque cuts and framing but also has its own style. The shifting morals and sharp comedy kept me on my toes throughout, and I found my sympathies moving from character to character as each plot-point was revealed. If you like your films funny and bloody, then you will definitely enjoy this, and I am going to give this 9 Skelpometer points for doing both these things really really well.