We Need to Talk About Kevin

2011Psych. Thriller ∙ 1h 52min

First off, we need to talk about the name Kevin. Nothing good ever came from that name. It’s like asking for your son to be a psycho. And from moment one we know the Kevin in this film is indeed exactly that. In fact he’s practically a dead ringer for Damian from The Omen. A little too close, in fact.

There is also tons of poop in this film. Kevin loves to poop in his diaper. Just to fuck with his mother. In fact, he refuses to talk or be toilet trained well into and past the times he’s supposed to be talking and peeing in a toilet. Spiteful little twerp. So I’m sitting there going, uh, ok the kid is slow. So what? And I’m watching this slow-ass film, with its creepy emptiness and Tilda Swinton with her weird preemie face turning all red and crying about her child (who, by the way, she looks way the hell too old to have birthed) and his seemingly vindictive behavior and I’m wondering why the hell I’m wasting my time watching a nine-year-old crap himself. And then John C. Reilly walks in and I realize that the guy’s range is somewhere between dopey and super-dopey and he kind of ruins any sense of suspense or overall evil that might otherwise be floating around this thing. And I kind of hate him, and I hate the kid and the mom is just a whimpering, red-eyed sad sack and once again I’m wondering why the hell I even tuned in.

So we’re sitting there with this disconnected family in this large house in the middle of what seems like nowhere (which is somehow afforded by the aforementioned dopey John C. Reilly, who seems only qualified to maybe tend bar or clean septic tanks) and Swinton spirals with her duties taking care of bizarro Satan child. Or is he? Yes he is. So she chucks him against a wall — or at least that’s what’s reported to happen, though the semi-crappy direction doesn’t make it look that way. It looks more like an editor trying to cover for the fact nobody thought to get a child actor (or a midget or something) who could fall down properly.

And then this family with the sixty-year-old looking mom has another kid. Good call; I’m sure Kevin will love that! Turns out, not so much. So now he has another person in the house to torture and/or damage. Awesome. So to reward the little psycho’s behavior, dad goes out and buys Kevin a bow and arrow and gets him into archery. That seems like it’ll go well. Hint: it doesn’t. The thing is, not only is the end of the film telegraphed from the very beginning, but the whole movie is told from the perspective of Swinton through flashbacks, so we already know from the beginning that there’s no longer a fancy house, a husband, a daughter, a decent job or the money for makeup. As well as a town that clearly hates her for some unknown reason. But is that reason really unknown? Once the credits rolled and I realized I had taken a couple hours of my like to watch this drama/horror mashup, I wondered if perhaps I’m so jaded that I don’t like anything or if there is in fact nothing out there to like.