After his father is killed in an altercation with drunken thugs, Salah's world is plunged into darkness. Forced into running the family kebab shop alone, Salah struggles to manage the increasingly rowdy night life and when a fight with an angry customer goes fatally wrong, he finds himself with a dead body on his hands. With no faith in the authorities Salah disposes of the body in the one place he knows best… the kebabs. As the shop's gullible customers devour the new recipe, Salah develops a taste for the kill and seizes the opportunity to turn vigilante and seek revenge on the abusive drunkards plaguing the streets.
K-Shop is a critical journey into the dark underbelly of the British binge drinking culture and the gory ramifications of inebriated actions. The film is extremely gritty, bare and brutal. The editing is exceptional and cinematography and score work all too well. The Lead actor, Ziad Abaza, is genuine and extraordinarily talented. It is a dark, disparaging, downward spiral that takes a sudden twist away from its Sweeny Todd-esque theme about halfway through the film. There is a very nihilistic undertone that meanders its way into the core themes of the film which, when mixed with the vigilante subplot, gives it a similar vibe to Taxi Driver.
The film also makes use of the colorization techniques that are so popular these days, but instead of highlighting the reds or adding some heavy saturation, the colours seem a lot more faded; they are old, dirty and washed out hues. This adds a very dreary, depressing feel to the film. While I am all for the macabre and the somber, I’m not a fan of the drawn-out, which makes my only real critique of the film its runtime – roughly two hours. I'm usually all for the longer movies, but this could probably have been wrapped up in a good one hour twenty. I understand that writer/director Dan Pringle probably wanted his completed vision presented in all its gloomy glory, but there was a lot that seemed unnecessary, like the lackluster love-interest that goes nowhere. It’s a slow burn that didn’t need to be.
Director Dan pringle had this to say about the film in an interview:
When I set out on the K-Shop journey, my main intention was to create a zeitgeist movie that would paint a darkly intriguing picture of British binge drinking culture. I found it fascinating how inaccurately our nightlife is represented in film and TV and being of the belief that it is the role of filmmakers to hold up a mirror to society, wished to address this by producing a highly evocative piece of work that pulled no punches.For me, K-Shop is that rarest of British movies; a starkly horrifying thriller that fulfills the expectations of the genre whilst serving up a healthy portion of cutting social commentary alongside. As such, I truly believe it will thrill and entertain audiences the world over in a manner they have rarely experienced before.
– Dan Pringle
Overall though, a very solid film worthy of praise. Whilst gory enough to pass as a horror film, it is not as much a horror flick as it is a ballsy social commentary, but done exceedingly well. Don’t get me wrong here, this is most definitely not something for the faint of heart. K-Shop has all the elements that make a horror film, except that it’s borrowing these elements in a darkly satirical way. The film doesn’t set out to scare you in the way that a traditional horror would — the film is trying to make you feel uncomfortable, perhaps even a little guilty. This is definitely not something you'd want as a date movie, but absolutely something worth taking the time to watch. Catch the trailer below. Thank you for reading.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.