Matthew Gray Gubler teams up with director Richard Bates Jr. for the fourth time in Bates’ newest witchy comedy, King Knight. Decorated with tattoos, Gubler plays Thorn, the High Priest of a modern day coven, alongside his partner Willow (Angela Sarafyan). Thorn finds his life turned upside down when Willow discovers the truth of his past, and he’s forced onto a journey back to his hometown.

Bates has directed well-received films such as Excision and Trash Fire, and even if King Knight is not your cup of tea, you can always count on his stories to be wholly original. But the excessive quirkiness exuding from every scene may be too much for some, much like in Bates’ Suburban Gothic, which also starred Gubler as the main protagonist. There is an overly dramatic, dry sense of humour in the dialogue that is well suited for both Gubler and Sarafyan, and those in the supporting cast like Nelson Franklin, Emily Chang, and Kate Comer are just as quick-witted, all delivering strong performances despite some of the material they’re working with. 

Although comedy is at the forefront, there are also many of Bates’ recognisable stylistic choices that make this film not only funny, but interesting to look at. The outdoor locations featured are beautiful, the set design and decoration in the coven is thoughtfully done, and there’s even a psychedelic animated scene that fits right in amongst the absurdity. 

The entertaining King Knight takes us down the path of one man’s self-discovery as he learns to reconcile his past with his present in order to accept his identity. This message is at the core, even if it sometimes gets lost amongst the ridiculousness and the reminder that everyone is full of shit.



CAST: Barbara Crampton, Matthew Gray Gubler, Andy Milonakis, Johnny Pemberton, Angela Sarafyan, Ray Wise, Kate Comer, Emily Chang, Josh Fadem, Swati Kapila

DIRECTOR: Richard Bates, Jr.

WRITER: Richard Bates, Jr.

SYNOPSIS: The High Priest of a modern-day coven finds his life thrown into turmoil and ventures on a journey of self-discovery.