Writer/director Benjamin Ironside Koppin delivers Made Me Do It, a psychological slasher which fortunately uses the up close and personal approach when introducing the killer. It’s hard to squeeze even a drop of originality into most modern horror/thrillers these days. At first glance, Made Me Do It seemed like it was going to be a run of the mill trip down the same, well-worn road. Fortunately, in the second half of the film, once the characters are established and the ball gets rolling, things get interesting.
We are introduced to Thomas (Kyle Van Vonderen), a disturbed young man who escapes from a mental institution. We are also introduced to Ali (Anna B. Shaffer) and her brother, Nick (Jason Gregory London). Ali goes to her father’s house to be with her brother, who has recently injured himself on a skateboard while saving someone’s life. The two siblings are the only ones in the house until Thomas comes knocking.
Leaving a trail of bodies in his wake, Thomas makes his way to the house while constantly flashing back to when he lived with his Aunt Sharon (Elain Rinehart), where he had faced countless torments and humiliation from his tyrannical aunt. Thomas was obviously already mentally handicapped and ridiculed by everyone especially his aunt. By feeding Thomas a bizarre diet of chocolate pudding and jello, Sharon practically starved him while dishing out a ludicrous home schooling regime. I believe what disturbed me the most was how the abuse turned this mentally challenged young man into a killer. Once again, another film which exposes the ugliness of the human race and society.
There’s not much gore in Made Me Do It, but what is here is done with 100% practical effects. I believe what makes Made Me Do It rise above the rest in the genre is Kyle Van Vonderen’s performance as Thomas, who portrayed a thought provoking character emerging from ridicule and degradation into a full fledged, unstoppable killing machine. Thomas uses his homemade paper plate masks to switch identities and block out his vulnerabilities.
Masks idea have always been prominent objects in many famous horror movies for invoking fear and providing strength for those particular characters. From Leslie Vernon to Victor Crowley to the infamous Jason Voorhees, killers have been hiding behind masks for years, and Made Me Do It goes into even more mask-related detail. It seems as if they give Thomas abnormal powers much like Michael Myers when it comes to the infliction of gunshots.
Made Me Do It becomes far more intriguing as it goes on. It reveals a sense of purpose and unfolds with some brilliant twists and turns. Made Me Do It is a prime example of a modern age slasher done right, but to call it a simple slasher would be an insult to the genre. It’s a psychological study of a killer whose bloody journey leads him on a path that makes sense only to him. Indie horror fans need to check this film out. It has some unmistakable potential.