Review: The Hexecutioners

Two disparate young women working for a company that conducts euthanasia are dispatched to a remote estate to perform a custom assisted-suicide ritual, but unwittingly summon the wraiths of a Death Cult that once inhabited the property.


From the writer of Pontypool, Tony Burgess comes this moral tale of euthanasia and sometimes things are not what they seem. Directed by Jesse Thomas cook who gave us Monster Brawl and Septic Man, I haven’t seen either, Hexexutioners hasn’t put me off completely but I won’t be rushing out to see them.

The new girl on the job, Malison (Liv Collins) has a dreadful first day. Her boss teams her up with Olivia (Sarah Power) a seasoned pro on the euthanasia hit squad. They are assigned a client in the country in an old mansion with a creepy assistant. Things start to get creepy quickly and while the two girls don’t seem to phased they press on with their contract. Soon everything takes a turn for the worst and things are not what they seem with the client and his final last wish.

Like a Ti West movie The Hexecutioners plods along, with little moments of tension, there is now constant build to the final act, there are a couple of nice little jump scares but nothing that should scare a hardened horror fan. There are nice ideas, some interestingly shot scenes, but overall nothing really seems to fit. The back story is underwhelming and from what I could piece together is that this cult made a mess of the ritual and the dead want revenge on the one person who survived. The main problem is that it never reaches the tense heights that West gets too in his movies.

There is a good movie in this mess, a decent script may have helped and some overdone scenes (the maze…. Really how big?) removed. The two leads are good, but again let down by the script and strange direction. Overall I wasn’t that impressed.

This has an interesting premise. In the near future a law has been passed legalizing euthanasia and corporate America has been quick to monetize this by sending out their trained employees to help the terminally ill and elderly shuffle off this mortal coil.

One girl on her first day finds herself euthanizing a wife who has been comatose for four years only for her to jerk awake and call her a murderer. Not a great first day on the job, but a great opening gambit. Following this the rookie is teamed up with a hard as nails experienced operative and the odd couple are dispatched to an isolated country house to perform a very specific assisted suicide.

The first twenty minutes or so hits the road running and sets up what promises to be one hell of a ride and that is what the audience gets, just not how you might expect. Because after the first half of the movie successfully builds character and suspense what we actually get in the second half is just batsh*t crazy. And not in a good way. Non sequitur abound and plot points are dropped, fumbled and just plain fucked up at an alarming rate. The audience is left with little or no idea of what the hell is going on. We get music video type effects, unannounced dead creatures, gigantic mazes and characters who literally look as though they walked off Downton Abbey’s set and the cameras on this kept rolling. The leads flip their character traits for no discernible reason and there seems no reason for their actions in the last act.

Essentially this feels like a film of two halves, the second of which the screenwriter seems to have either dropped dead or just got bored and gone on holiday, either way it is a poor example of how to write a film.

Not for the first time recently some interesting visuals and a refreshingly different idea fail to maintain the interest. I just wanted it to end.

I have to say this was one of my most anticipated Glasgow film. I love the idea of assisted suicide becoming legal and as an idea it isn’t beyond being feasible. So here we are with THE HEXECUTIONERS which tells the tale of two women who help those who are at the end to go in a way that they choose.

That all seems too straightforward and we find our two lead characters sent on a job with a difference to a remote country house where something just doesn’t seem right. Asked to perform a special request this movie just veers off into fifty shades of craziness.

It is a slow burning movie and I found myself feeling a sense of The Shining with echoes of Ti West. It does lose itself along the way and the ending doesn’t quite make sense but this is a brilliant movie. Ignore the thoughts of those who just don’t appreciate it. It looks stunning and the cinematography is top notch. I loved this film and it really does start to get under the skin.

Stick with this one. You may fall into the camp of those whom it’s lost on but it’s an amazing watch and it’s worth persevering with. Genius.

The Hexecutioners is currently on the festival circuit. A UK release date has yet to be announced.




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