At the outset of The Hexecutioners, a title card informs us that the film is set in a universe where euthanasia is not only legal, but has been monetised. Protagonist Malison (Liv Collins) takes a job at a company specialising in carrying out assisted suicide rituals to the agreed specifications of the patient’s family. After a rough first day on the job (a botched job that brings the first of the film’s several unintentional laughs), she is paired with veteran Olivia (Sarah Power) to learn the ropes in an unusual case in a rural mansion. In at the deep end, maybe, but hell, everybody’s got to learn sometime.
It’s around here that the film’s more forgiveable flaws give way to some altogether more grievous problems. Any suggestion that the film may position itself to take a stance on euthanasia at an ideological level is quickly jettisoned, with this element only existing in The Hexecutioners for long enough to facilitate its spectacular venture off the dramatic deep end into a borderline incomprehensible montage of spooky imagery and baffling religious overtones.
Malison and Olivia’s wrangling with whether or not to carry out the requests of the mysterious Edgar (Tim Burd) provides the film with some of its second act conflict, but quite why the specifics of the procedure were never discussed in advance of their visit is something of a mystery. As Malison starts to come around to the idea and Olivia continues to dissent, the film loses its way almost entirely. Characters are introduced with little explanation, logic begins to fall by the wayside and the unintentional comedy begins to take hold as the film stumbles to its protracted, confusing conclusion. Ultimately, an intriguing premise and some visual flair can’t save The Hexecutioners from an unfortunate descent into farce.