There’s a certain kind of Russian man – vodka-steeped, burly, bullet-eyed – who is uniquely hard to kill. But that doesn’t stop writer and director Kirill Sokolov spending 90-odd minutes trying to do so, in a grand guignol bloodbath which comes on like a homicidal remake of Meet the Parents, edited with a collection of power tools. An eye-grabbing feature debut, which nods to everything from the stylised violence of Park Chan-wook to the slick camera gymnastics of early Guy Ritchie and the brash clarion of Sergio Leone’s scores, Why Don’t You Just Die! still manages to feel distinctively Russian in its sensibility.
Like his characters, Sokolov is inventive in his choice of weapons. The picture is a super-saturated visual assault, rattling around a Moscow apartment as an encounter between a bullish bent cop and the boyfriend of his daughter goes from bad to all kinds of worse. But for all the spurting gore and wry cutaway shots, it’s the use of sound that’s the killer. If the crunch of tendons cracking as someone tightens their grip on a claw hammer can make you flinch, just imagine what can be done with a masonry drill and a human thigh.
It won’t be for everyone, certainly, but if social distancing has you not just climbing the walls but contemplating punching a hole in them, this might just be the perfect cathartic lockdown movie.
Streaming on all major platforms from 20 April