Movie Review: “White Rabbit” – Sympathy for a Killer

Written by Angela March 02, 2015

UK independent production company Low Key Films continues to boast its creative diversity with the brand new short film, “White Rabbit.” Starring Stephen Karl and directed by Connor O’Hara, this action piece tells the story of a natural born killer and professional hit man named Tobias Banes. Tobias loves what he does for a living, so he’s non too pleased to discover the tables have turned against him. With a target on his back and nobody to trust, how long can Banes survive as the hunted, rather than the hunter?

“The secret service is for pussies. So I became a hit man.”

Previous Low Key projects I’ve reviewed possess impressive technical quality yet also left something to be desired in terms of storytelling. This time around, the tightly controlled narrative of “White Rabbit” is genuinely impressive, mainly due to the film’s sharp focus on its homicidal yet likable main character. Presenting a single subject in a short film is always the best route to go, considering the limited budget and screen time; audiences are given the chance to zone in rather than divide their attention and are given a clean, interesting story to latch onto. Our introduction to Tobias reveals his psychopathology with a cruel light-heartedness. He may insist that his work—killing warlords, terrorists, drug dealers, murderers, and of course, the odd politician—is more helpful to society than harmful, yet he makes no attempt to conceal his extreme personal enjoyment in snuffing out their lives. To top it off, he’s also quite adept at magic tricks, and seems to take the disappearance of his targets as trivially as one would the disappearance of a rabbit under a top hat. With a character as terrifically fun and insane as Tobias, I’m sure I won’t be the only one wishing the film lasted longer than twenty minutes so we may get to know him better.

“Art is long. Life is short.”

Alongside Tobias’ sly monologues are a few montages of violent mercenary action and a highly choreographed fight scene to boot. The urban and rural settings create visual variety and give a sense that Tobias is one hard working killer, while his posh accent, sports car and tuxedo play with the same James Bond and Guy Ritchie cliches action fans worth their salt all know and love. One could argue that Tobias’ detachment is tad overdone, but the film’s tone is adamant that in the world of the hit man, all life is expendable and nothing is sacred. In fact, therein lies the punchline of an ironic twist that delivers an unexpected sense of pathos to what starts off as a seemingly nonchalant action homage. In the end, all the elements of the film—character, pacing, plot, and editing—fit together like the cogs of a well-oiled machine. “White Rabbit” is a milestone showcase of the increasing strength of Low-Key’s talents, as it is by far one of their best films yet. Once again, keep em’ coming, gents. I can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeves.

My Rating: 8/10

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About Angela

Angela McInnes is an English major and up-and-coming horror film aficionado. To her, happiness is a bottle of rum and a creature-feature on a Saturday night.

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