Kill Your Friends: Film Review


Nicholas Hoult getting his American Psycho on? Check. Nicholas Hoult in regular topless glory? Check. A nostalgic blast from the 90s with a killer soundtrack? Check. Kill Your Friends just wins on all fronts.

Hoult plays Steven Stelfox, an A&R employee at a London record label who pretty much does nothing except drugs, bang chicks, more drugs and sign the occasional deal. He is ruthless, cynical, a total sociopath, so determined on becoming Head of A&R at the company that he will literally kill his co-workers for it, including the fantastic James Corden.


I have been excited for Kill Your Friends for ages and I wish had got round to reading John Niven’s book and now I’ve seen it on the screen I really regret not doing it. The cynicism and dark humour are just perfect. Steven is not a nice guy, in fact, he is a horrible guy but he is the epitome of what Niven despised in the music industry. It was refreshing to see someone so unashamedly mean, who has no comeuppance or enlightenment throughout. His character starts and ends the same, which is rare. You would expect a dick such as Stelfox to be the ingredient in a morale tale, but this is not that kind of film.

You get the impression Hoult relished getting his teeth into something so dark and dirty, and so different to how we normally see him. I couldn’t imagine anyone else in the role. He plays Steven perfectly. His narration to camera takes some getting used to and at times the truly awful things he says feel repetitive, or just lose effect after a while, but (shallow alert) I have never found him more attractive (and usually I don’t at all!)


There is a lot of commentary about the music industry in here, but I’m not savvy on that so I didn’t get all the jokes. I went to a screening with industry types and they laughed a lot at how true and well observed some of the characters or dialogue was. I loved the music too – the soundtrack is insane. My personal favourites were The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up and Encore Une Fois by Sash! It really made me want to have a throwback dance music night out!

This really won’t appeal to everyone – there is A LOT of drugs, swearing and blood. Stelfox is not likeable or relatable at all, which usually stops me from connecting to a story, but this wasn’t the case here. I enjoyed it for what it was – an extremely dark comedic look at the music industry.

In cinemas Friday 6th November 


  1. […] It is nostalgic; it is cynical, hilarious and very, very violent. Hoult is perfect in the role. Review here. Released: 6th […]


  2. […] by Coky Giedroyc, had more bite to it. I wasn’t expecting it to go as far as Niven’s Kill Your Friends but I would have liked to have felt their cynicism a bit more, especially considering Johanna turns […]


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