A good crime movie is a beautiful thing. Especially when it falls into the Agatha Christie-ish category. Christie’s classic tales of murder on film like Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile are pure joy, we are even getting a new big screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express this year courtesy of Kenneth Branagh. But many films have kept the tradition of this sub-genre alive over the years including Sleuth with Michael Caine, Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Deathtrap with Caine again and Christopher Reeve, even Woody Allen took a stab at it with the hilarious Manhattan Murder Mystery. There is a new film hitting the festival circuit that is very comfortable among these classics, Murder Made Easy.
Joan (Jessica Graham) and Michael (Christopher Soren Kelly) have plans for an elaborate dinner party for their dearest friends on the anniversary of the passing of Joan’s husband Neil. As each guest arrives they find in addition to the fine food before them, their very lives are on the menu as they are murdered one by one to protect a secret that links them all.
Murder Made Easy is a brilliant throwback to a type of film most filmmakers wouldn’t have the guts to take on nowadays. To make a film in this style with a small group of great actors and a lot of brilliant dialogue is refreshing and a hell of a lot of fun. The cast are all great here taking on their roles with a gleeful relish. Writer Tim Davis created a whip smart, lightning fast story that moves along at a great pace, contains lots of laughs and stays true to its murderous ancestral roots. And director Dave Palamaro crafts a smooth, slick thriller that looks great and oozes class. Combining the qualities of murder mysteries with the challenges of the one room drama, films like Lumet’s 12 Angry Men or Hitchcock’s Rope, brings out the best in both styles with Murder Made Easy. For a thoroughly enjoyable romp with a dark side, check out Murder Made Easy when it plays near you.
Murder Made Easy is playing the Flyway Film Festival in Pepin, Wisconsin on Saturday October 21 at 7pm.