Alfred Hitchcock never filmed any of Agatha Christie’s novels, but if he did the result would probably have resembled Murder Made Easy. Which isn’t really surprising as director David Palamaro acknowledges Hitchcock’s Rope as one of his favourite films. The script by Palarmo and Tim Davis involves Christie’s play The Mousetrap and would work quite well as a play for that matter. The question is, how well does it live up to such mighty inspirations?
Joan (Jessica Graham, BnB Hell) and Michael (Christopher Soren Kelly, The Tangle, Hoax) are throwing a dinner party. It’s the first anniversary of the death of Joan’s husband Neil. We find that out right away. We also learn, with the arrival of the first guest, Marcus (Edmund Lupinski, The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, The Lincoln Conspiracy) that Michael has gotten suspended from his job at the university for something he’s published.
But as the guests, all of whom were in Neil’s production of The Mousetrap, arrive and the bodies start to drop, that’s far from the last surprise the night will reveal.
Murder Made Easy has a slightly unusual format. The guests arrive one at a time, rather than together for a more traditional dinner and the segments are divided by title cards. Bearing not the name of the guest, but of the food about to be served. And, of course, one for the intermission. The result is almost like a series of linked vignettes in an anthology film.
The real mystery here isn’t who done it, but why. And will they get away with it? All of which is played out with some wonderfully witty dialogue and very dark humour. Which is not to say Murder Made Easy is a comedy or lacks suspense. It’s actually quite tense in places, just not for the reasons you might expect.
Saying too much more would probably end up spoiling some of the fun. All I will say is don’t take anything you see or hear for granted. Murder Made Easy keeps throwing curves right up until the end.