Horror movies turning objects into murderous creatures is nothing new. We’ve gotten killer tomatoes, deadly beds, murderous cars, cursed costumes, a possessed laundry machine (here’s our review of “The Mangler“) and the list goes on. But a killer “sofa” (which is actually a recliner chair) now that’s something new to check off the list.
This movie is director Bernie Rao’s feature debut, but prior to this he’s made quite an impressive amount of shorts in various genres. In “Killer Sofa” (killer chair, really, but I digress) we follow the story of Francesca, an attractive young woman who seems to unwillingly make certain men fall head over heels for her, and they become obsessive and stalking. One of her admirers is found murdered (or, they find body parts of him which should make it obvious he’s been murdered), and soon thereafter, Francesca receives a new chair as a gift. She puts it in her living room, but soon her new furniture appears to be living a life of its own…
Now, the actual appearance of the “Killer Sofa” strays pretty far away from what the cover might lead you to believe. The recliner is given two round black buttons for eyes, giving it an appearance which is actually kind of cute…and it could have fitted well within some kind of TV show for kids. However, as this is a horror movie, the “cute” recliner is killing people, especially if they get too close to its new owner. One of Francesca’s friends, Maxi, has a grandfather who is a disgraced Jewish rabbi, and he becomes convinced that the recliner is possessed by a “Dybbuk” (a malicious possession spirit from Jewish mythology).
Now, I’m sure you think everything described so far makes this movie sound hilarious and quite ludicrous. While that is somewhat true, I think it’s fair to point out that the movie doesn’t spend its time trying to chunk out one gag after the other, and the humor is sometimes quite subtle as the movie appears to be taking itself a bit too seriously considered its overall wacky premise. There are some rather amusing scenes, but it isn’t really an over-the-top crazy movie, so if you expect something of that kind you might be disappointed. It’s not really one of those traditional “so bad it’s good” movies where you can expect to laugh your ass off, although there are some pretty funny scenes here and there – including a scene where the chair keeps blowing out Francesca’s matches, which is actually quite hilarious! So, to sum it up, “Killer Sofa” is a weird low-budget indie horror, and must be seen under the correct expectations. It’s a good bunch of stupid fun, if you know what to expect from movies like this.
As a final note, here’s a little bit of trivia: the original title for “Killer Sofa” was actually “My Love, My Lazy Boy”. Which probably doesn’t make much sense to you unless you know that there’s a furniture manufacturer called “La-Z-Boy” (and if you type the term into Google Image Search, you’ll get a lot of pictures displaying recliner chairs of the similar looks as the one displayed in this movie). This makes the original title somewhat more “correct”, I guess…but it’s probably much more catchy with a title like “Killer Sofa”.
Directors: Bernie Rao
Country & year: New Zealand, 2019
Actors: Piimio Mei, Nathalie Morris, Jim Baltaxe, Jed Brophy, Stacey King, Angelica Thomas, James Cain, Jordan Rivers, Harley Neville, Sarah Munn, Sean Fleming, Trae Te Wiki, Hamish Boyle, Grant Kereama, Adrienne Kohler