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Simon Killer

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A heartbroken American on a soul-searching trip to Paris finds his buried secrets clawing their way to the surface in this neo-noir thriller from writer/director Antonio Campos (Afterschool). Lovelorn in the aftermath of a recent break-up with his longtime girlfriend, American college graduate Simon (Brady Corbet) wanders the streets of Paris aimlessly, and drifts into a sex parlor where he encounters mysterious prostitute Victoria (Mati Diop). His emotions suddenly reawakened, Simon hatches a plan to blackmail one of her wealthy clients -- a crime that has some unexpected repercussions for all involved.

Product Details

  • Actors: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop
  • Directors: Antonio Campos
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00D6I7GC8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,571 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Told almost as a modern-day version of the novel In a Lonely Place, Simon Killer places us with a young American man fresh upon arrival in Paris (or so he says). He is struggling with getting over his ex, and falls in love with a French prostitute, also with (literal) scars. As seen in the trailer (so no spoilers), the two devise a scheme to blackmail her clients for cash. This doesn't quite work out.

The narrative, though, is secondary to the extraordinary and wholly disturbing vision that is presented to us. The sex scenes, while erotic, are almost joyless, with Simon's lovers' heads often out of the shot, giving us a view of Simon leering at their nude bodies, or forcing them to turn around and face the opposite way, further dehumanizing his sexual partners.

The unique experience of this film is further developed through the contrast of highly cinematic, "fake"-feeling camera work with exceptionally neorealistic dialogue and acting. The very long shots feel as if we could be there watching live, but with the slight disconnect of a perfectly framed angle, or smooth turns bridging opposite characters or ends of the room.

The focal point of the film, of course, is Simon himself, delivered in a fantastic performance by Brady Corbet (who you may recognize from Thirteen). He is nearly impossible to take your eyes off of, and gives a remarkably rich and believable portrayal of a womanizer, criminal, and yes, killer.

Simon Killer is also extraordinary in how much it takes us by surprise - we rarely get films, either studio or independent, which places us with your everyday man who has the potential to kill.
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Format: DVD
Despite an advertising campaign that might suggest that this is a pulse pounding thriller, writer/director Antonio Campos has fashioned a slow burn character study in "Simon Killer." What's particularly unusual about this presentation, however, is that we don't know very much about the central figure even though we spend every moment of the film with him. As bits and pieces of his personality and story emerge, we're never really sure of the whole truth. Is he a likable misfit? A needy loner looking for love? A obsessive type that won't let go? Or is he something inherently more disturbing? As portrayed by Brady Corbet, in easily his most compelling performance to date, Simon is an enigma. He has many layers, but you're never sure you want to peel off his mild mannered exterior. His choices are questionable as are his motivations, but what exactly drives him? "Simon Killer," in an intriguing choice, leaves you to make up your own mind about a lot of these questions. Through the course of the film, my opinion continued to evolve until the final scene. And the movie has a haunting quality that caused it to remain in my thoughts long after I'd finished it. To me, that always means they got something right!

The movie begins as Corbet has arrived in Paris. A recent college graduate, he is still hurting from a break-up with his childhood sweetheart. He seems to need the time away to purge some unpleasant experiences from his memory. In letters and calls, we learn that he has disappointed his parents and became rather confrontational with his girlfriend. But we really only hear hints of what transpired from his perspective. After spending much time alone, he starts to seek out the attention of the local ladies. And he befriends a professional who works at a local sex club.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a well-made and often audacious film. Its prickly willingness to make everything sordid and ugly -- while fleshing this out with exhilarating editing, music and camerawork -- carried me through several enthralling watches, along with Brady Corbet's uncanny performance. But, though I still can't stop watching Corbet work his rancid spell (no one is doing "sexy young creep" better right now), I have begun to see him and the film as rather self-indulgent and a bit flailingly pointless. It's sort of fin-de-siecle art fifteen years too late, it doesn't need the unwieldy meta-subject of how visual culture deludes and tricks the brain (duh), and it should be less in awe of the tawdry sex which it loves to be aghast at. In other words, Ulrich Seidl among others has given sharper and more challenging films about some of these same subjects. In other other words, it panders to a high-minded viewership who can take comfort in calling its desperate characters "sociopaths" when that's not really what they are at all -- just young, sad, lonely, down and out, and speaking two different languages ... er, three, counting the universal one. In other other other words, not being able to trust a film's good reviews has become for me an indication not to fully trust a film. But I wouldn't bet against myself watching it several more times over the next few months. It's just that kind of spicy noodle -- empty calories maybe, but tasty as all get out.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Story of a young man who is a totally amoral bastard. But he's a mamas boy which doesn't fit the type. FrenchSenegalese director Mati Diop in a major acting role is a real find. She added a couple of stars to my rating,
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