EIFF 2013: uwantme2killhim?
The internet is a dangerously empowering tool in this true story, which has been knit into a taut thriller by British director Andrew Douglas. Set in 2003, uwantme2killhim? is the bizarre and disturbing tale of teenager Mark, who's become addicted to an online relationship with Rachel, the abused partner to an unhinged criminal. When she asks him to protect her bullied brother at school Mark is drawn down a destructive path. The themes of obsession and the malleability of adolescent identity are timeless and universal, yet the online aspects provide a pertinent edge, even although they have long been surpassed by current social networking trends and possibilities.
The performances from the young cast are strong – Jamie Blackley, as Mark, shows a particular charisma. There’s a problem, though: their characters have a spark of life but no full grounding or backstory to suggest exactly how such dark influences took root. What we are left with is well-constructed suspense, which should succeed in entertaining audiences but misses the opportunity to scratch below the surface psychology between the manipulator and manipulated.