The King Is Dead (2012)
Open inspection at the house-for-sale in the quiet, leafy neighbourhood...Max, science teacher, and Therese, tax accountant, decide that here is the house for them. Unsuspecting, they buy and move in, finding a nice family on one side and, well, "interesting" on the other. But interesting soon becomes loud, and loud soon becomes intolerable and when the intolerable becomes the violent, and the police are powerless to do anything, and the community lawyer suggests ear plugs, Max and Therese are forced to try and solve the problem of the neighbour from hell themselves...and end up with a corpse on their hands. But even that's not the worst of it, because the corpse from hell has friends...and even worse, enemies... … More
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Critic Reviews for The King Is Dead
The screenplay comes with a wealth of comical gags and observations about suburban life that many audiences should identify with.
If this film had a more propulsive plot, veered into Straw Dogs territory and retained its dark laughs, I imagine we would be talking about an Australian classic.
The King is Dead!, while not as brilliant as Bad Boy Bubby or Alexandra's Project, shares with those films a unique and perverse vision of Australian suburbia ... De Heer's always bold, and here he's bold again. The Independent King is certainly not dead.
The King is Dead has some great comic asides, and the finale paints Max and Therese into a genuinely dangerous and entertaining corner.
The King is Dead! is a deliciously dark genre mash-up, coy and explorative but tight and insular, sprayed with wry laughs and a genuinely foreboding undertone.
Black comedies rarely come as carefully measured or as full-blooded as this marvellously engaging lark, which is essentially a revenge fantasy for anyone who has ever suffered the prolonged trauma of living with a bad neighbour.
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