• Kieran Burt

Kill Command (2016) Review

Kill Command is a film full of suspense, right from the start. It is about a group of marines who are sent to a remote island to train, but the robot inhabitants try to pick them off - one by one.

This film leans firmly into the horror side of its premise, with many suspenseful sequences. This leaves the audience on the edge of their seats for most of the runtime, wondering where the next robot attack will come from. The soldiers' sense of panic adds to the suspenseful nature of the situation.

The robots are brilliantly designed, with the bigger machines clearly taking inspiration from spiders with their legs and movement. It makes for scary viewing. For a film with a small budget of just $1 million, the overall effects are pretty great.

Kill Command makes itself worth remembering

What makes the robots scarier is that they have the ability to learn human tactics. There are a few situations where the marines find themselves on the receiving end of their own strategy. A notable instance of this can be seen through the use of smoke grenades. Initially, the robots use the terrain to mask their approach, but after the soldiers use grenades the robots follow suit.

While the action in this film is nothing special, it is just about serviceable. There are two snipers in the group, but only Robinson gets a chance to truly show off his sniping skills by the end of the film. For the most part it is just standard shooting. The small budget makes this excusable, as there isn't enough money for complex set pieces.

The characters are pretty by-the-books too, but ultimately this isn’t the type of film for depth. It is aiming to provide a suspenseful experience, and it succeeds. There are a couple of moments which make big moments impactful.

Kill Command makes itself worth remembering in a genre full of killer robots by leaning into the suspense and horror of such a situation, and having memorable designs. The action is average, and while there are a few characters who shine brighter than their squad the group remains largely blank.