What The Fest!? Review: Why Don't You Just Die

Why Don't You Just Die Poster
Why Don't You Just Die...

Director: Kirill Sokolov
Writer: Kirill Sokolov
Stars: Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgeniya Kregzhde


Having its North American premiere at What The Fest!? Russian film Why Don't You Just Die! is a kinetic, bloody splatterfest, that from minute one isn't concerned about film 'rules' and blazes its own path through what can only be described as a Tarantino/Boyle/Ritchie filter over the top of cartoonish violence but don't be misled - the violence is gory and punishing but more on the audience than our protagonists, who seem to be able to be hurt but yet are almost unstoppable.

Why Don't You Just Die Image
Matvei (Kuznetsov) arrives at Andrei's (Khaev) apartment with hammer and a determination to kill him. From there things play out in ways you can't imagine, and barring a couple of non-linear scenes that fill in the characters back stories, we never leave the apartment. Being a crime-comedy, things aren't always what they seem and most times they definitely aren't.

Sokolov does a great job in doing a lot with not much, everything is orchestrated and framed perfectly. His style certainly apes that of the aforementioned directors but he still has a style of his own, with a wicked sense of humour. His writing is sharp too, giving his characters a pop despite them being based on well worn archetypes.

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All the actors are brilliant, pitching their characters perfectly. With all the secrets, paranoia and lies every actor sells their character's story. Something that helps sell the characters is the music stings and scores, placed well throughout the film, it just enhances the story without ever getting in the way or trying to be too clever.

Sokolov lays bare everything that happens in all its gore filled glory, not sparing anything or anyone. He keeps on piling one crazy atrocity on another, until you think it can't go further but then it does. The climax doesn't quite have the same energy as the rest of the film but by that stage, you've seen some gnarly stuff, so a slightly (still nuts) calmer ending is sweet respite. Sokolov has a heap of talent and I hope he makes a lot more films.

Played as part of What The Fest!?

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78