• Femi Henry-Chia

Films with Femi: Knives Out


Promotional photo for "Knives Out"

When I first put on Knives Out, I didn’t have very high hopes. I expected it to be a classic who-dunnit, with a fairly obvious guilty-party from the very beginning. I turned my phone on, expecting the movie to not be worth my full attention–but even within the first 30 seconds of this movie, I was hooked. The movie immediately starts with a bang, with overwhelming classical music and the screeching of a violin playing in the background, as the housekeeper walks through the mansion, carrying a dish for her employer to eat. The setting; the gorgeous, atmospheric, yet creepy house chock full of secret walls and windows, and the constant overcoat throughout their outdoor scenes, set quite the tone. She goes from room to room, staircase to staircase, but when she finally makes it to her employer’s bedroom to deliver the food, it’s already too late.


Immediately, you are introduced to the newly deceased, Harlan’s, family. We can tell from their very first impressions that this is a colorful and dodgy bunch, and that everyone is a suspect. This film easily has one of the best casts of the year, with big stars such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Toni Colette, Michael Shannon, and so many more phenomenal actors. I do feel, however, that a lot of these great actors didn’t have very big roles, which was interesting to see considering they usually star in other films. Toni Colette and Jamie Lee Curtis play the daughters of Harlan. Colette’s American accent was nothing short of perfection. She not only portrayed her role with just the right amount of drama and eccentricity, but nailed the Californian vernacular and pronunciation. She wasn’t the only one faking an accent, however. Detective Benoit Blanc, played by British Daniel Craig of the 007 franchise, was almost annoying with his thick, Southern drawl that, I swear, slipped up into his native British accent a few times. Now don’t get me wrong, I highly enjoyed his mysterious character, but the accent just didn’t sound right to me. This ultimately surprised me considering Craig had a perfect Southern accent in the film Logan Lucky, which was released a couple years ago. Perhaps this was the director’s choice, but I’m not sure it was a very good one. On top of that, there seemed to be an astounding amount of cultural references to today, which I didn’t feel were very needed. For example, they talked about Instagram influencers and the hit musical Hamilton. I understand that it was their intention to add a bit of relevance to the movie, but I don’t think it was completely necessary. However, with that being said, this film was filled with originality and I do give the creators props for that.


All in all, this film was incredibly fun to watch, especially when watching it with other people. Twists and turns were cleverly carried out at every corner. Just when you thought you knew who the killer was, you were quickly proven wrong. There was even an unlikely alliance that seemed to make sense–or so the writers have you believe. Ultimately, this was a truly brilliantly constructed movie. It beat all of my expectations, and is, by far, a must-watch.