The debut feature from Anita Rocha da Silveira mixes elements of dark comedy and horror

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“Kill Me Please” is a bold, vivid exploration of adolescence and budding sexuality, set against a backdrop of looming fear and dread. First-time writer-director Anita Rocha da Silveira links these themes and creates an audacious debut that feels like a dark spiritual cousin to the work of Sofia Coppola.

A killer is on the loose in an upscale Rio de Janeiro neighborhood, and 15-year-old Bia (Valentina Herszage) and her friends aren’t so much creeped out by the murders as they are fascinated by them. They lay around, sprawled out on the ground as the camera hovers above them, discussing the murders like they’re plot points on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Meanwhile, their hormones are raging, and they’re never far removed from their next heavy-petting makeout session, which take precedence over pressing safety concerns.

Da Silveira uses a bright neon color scheme and a sparkling pop soundtrack to create a mood of teenage abandon that she undercuts with the threat of death. Religion comes in the form of a trashy pop singer who spouts messages of the “Jesus is my homeboy” variety, as “Kill Me Please” takes on elements of dark comedy, horror and navel-gazing drama.

Bia becomes closer to the murders, stalking the victims’ Facebook pages and even laying a kiss on the blood-soaked lips of one of the bodies. There are matters of the killer and their victims to wrap up, but that takes a back seat to the mood and atmosphere Da Silveria creates in her world. It’s a fun place to hang around for awhile, even if the dots she lays out don’t always connect in the most obvious fashion.

agraham@detroitnews.com

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@grahamorama

‘Kill Me Please’

GRADE: B

Not rated: sexual situations, adult themes

Running time:

105 minutes

At Cinema Detroit

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