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Is 'Don't Kill Me' A Lively Movie Worth Streaming Or Skipping?

Don't Kill Me Non mi uccidere Alice Pagani Mirta Rocco Fasano Robin Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Horror and heartache combine for this emotionally unique Italian spin on the undead. “Don’t Kill Me” (originally titled, “Non mi uccidere”) feels like a nice entry point to launch a TV series. Whether that is the goal or not, the Netflix movie hits quite a few critical notes in establishing an intriguing origin story for its lead character and the mythos that surrounds her.

“Don’t Kill Me” begins with the frustrating antics of Robin (Rocco Fasano). One of those devil-may-care types, a cavalier Robin is driving his girlfriend Mirta in and out of traffic. Mirta guides him as he keeps his eyes closed. The scenario is far from a trust exercise. Robin enjoys Mirta’s terror, an important distinction that Mirta is incapable of recognizing due to her familiar infatuation with her bad-boy boyfriend.

It is obvious from the dialogue that a teenage Mirta (Alice Pagani) has plunged herself headfirst into a relationship with Robin despite her parents’ pleas. She believes in Robin. Not the people who raised her from the cradle until the grave. You see, that last part will be Robin’s doing as he pressures Mirta to join him in taking drugs. It does not end well. The couple ODs and dies.

While death usually marks the end of a story, this is when “Don’t Kill Me” begins, and not because the movie is done with Mirta. After all, there would not be much of a movie left if it continued without her. So, the Netflix film throws in a twist that brings the story back to life, with Mirta literally forcing her way out of the grave. 

It is a storyline that has been done before in TV shows such as “Glitch”. What sets “Don’t Kill Me” apart is that it offers a commentary on relationships based on coercive control, the ethics of vampire/zombie behavior, and if life for the undead can truly mean living again. It is a lot to unpack in a two-hour movie, yet “Don’t Kill Me” does a fantastic job of making its points. 

“Baby” star Alice Pagani does a great job of playing the two “Mirta(s).” One is a smitten teenage girl in way too deep with a guy who loves taking girls to swim far from shallow water. The other Mirta is a confused victim of a quasi-immortality that takes as much as it gives. You will not find the dreamy romanticism of “Twilight” here. 

“Don’t Kill Me” is deadly serious about what it means to no longer be among the living. The thing giving the movie extra points is that it is such a brilliant allegory for the real-life “monsters” that use romance as a weapon to drive a wedge between families. What it has to say about the relationship that drives Mirta so clearly into the abyss is chilling and sadly accurate.

For Mirta, it is as blinding to recognize as an episode of “Dirty John.” As these relationships gain more recognition in popular culture as unhealthy love affairs, society may finally have to have a reckoning with where it has traditionally poised forbidden teen romance. Are parents always wrong to keep a phantom away from their child? Or have their parental instincts been on point?

“Don’t Kill Me” is a cautionary tale about the cost of making the most important decision of your life. Choosing who you spend your life with is not just about finding happiness. It is a literal choice of life and death. This part of the Netflix movie may mean different things to some. For this viewer, it resonates as an uneasy warning.

The case to explore the universe in “Don’t Kill Me” is pretty solid. The backdrop of Italy with its rich history provides so many breathtaking location opportunities it would be a shame not to dig into it deeper. If you loved the underrated Saoirse Ronan starrer “Byzantium,” you will find yourself easily immersed in “Don’t Kill Me.” It is a great way to kill a couple of hours.

“Don’t Kill Me” is currently streaming on Netflix alongside a lot of other terrific thrillers to dig into.

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