As an dark comedy junkie, I was hoping I might be easily swayed by the humor profile hinted at by the blunt-force titling of Brian Gianci's Let's Kill Grandpa (This Christmas), not to mention the possible homage to "Throw Momma From The Train" the titling may also intend. I'm pleased to report that to its great credit, Let's Kill Grandpa is indeed a film filled with the kind of laughs we know we shouldn't be having. The characters are lovably unlikable, and with great aplomb, Gianci deftly weaves darkly comedic elements with horror/suspense ingredients and a dash of thriller.
Grandpa himself is old, apparently faltering, and he's stuffed to the gills with his heirs' future inheritance. The plot gets hatched, and by the time we weave our way through the film's thrills and dilemmas, we think we might know what's beneath the wrapping paper. But here again Gianci surprises and delights with his high level ability to straddle the finer points of three genres and deliver a singular work that is as humorous as it is unique.
Everyone who has sat through bad stand-up knows that comedy is a highly flammable pool to swim in. Too often, that's also arguably the reason that ambitious comedy - particularly dark comedy - is averted in favor of safer pastures. Here, Gianci by no means plays it safe. Instead, he assumes heightened risk in striving for something individual, and ultimately meets those self-imposed challenges by delivering a film that truly sits in its own space.