Welcome to The Daily Cup a movie blog/writing project by Kyle B. Dekker, presented by Hot Chocolate Media. You can read series concept here. The basic rules, Kyle must watch 365 movies in 2018 and write about all of them. 292 of them have to be movies he's never seen before. Thanks for reading.
I love it when a film takes a well established genre and does new things with it. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) is a revenge film that does new things. Richard (Paddy Considine) is a military veteran who is seeking revenge on a group of low level thuggish drug dealers. They did something to RIchard’s developmentally disabled brother some years back, and he’s going to make them pay.
We don’t learn exactly what the gang of thugs did to Richard’s brother Anthony until the very end of the film. I love this break from convention, we aren’t sure why Richard is killing these men until the very end. This gives what would normally be a straightforward revenge story more weight. We feel the labor of Richard’s task, and also wonder if we should be rooting for him or against him as the story progresses.
The film also has a strong supernatural and horror feel to it. Richard doesn’t just kill these thugs, he toys with them. Psychologically torturing them by following them around while wearing a terrifying gas mask, painting things on their clothes and bodies while they sleep, and drugging their tea leaving them in a stupor and unable to defend themselves.He doesn’t just kill them, he toys with them, making their last days on earth pure misery and terror.
One thing to watch for in Dead Man’s Shoes is the performance of Paddy Considine. He is terrifying, so much so that you almost feel sorry for the thugs he is killing. At the same time there is real sadness and an almost empathy in his performance. He doesn’t enjoy killing these men, it’s just his duty as a brother.
In many ways Dead Man’s Shoes feels like the 21st century descendant of Get Carter (1971), both are unapologetically blue collar British revenge films that focus more on the mental state of the character seeking revenge rather than the acts of revenge themselves. This is a thinking person’s revenge film, and well worth the watch.
Movies new to me watched: 13/292
Other movies: 2/73
Total movies watched: 15/365
Have your own thoughts or opinions on this movie? Comment below or contact Kyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kbdekker.