I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

i am not a serial killer poster 2016 movie
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Promising concept, strong main cast, interesting visuals

Sometimes a simple plot is better even if a plot is original

Movie Info

Movie Name: I Am Not a Serial Killer

Studio: Irish Film Board

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 13, 2016 (South by Southwest)/August 26, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

i am not a serial killer max records panda ski mask

Nope…nothing serial killer-y about someone wearing a panda ski mask

Teenager John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records) is fighting a battle within.  He is diagnosed as a sociopath and finds he cannot empathize with those around him.  With the danger of becoming a serial killer, John tries to adhere to a set of rules to keep him on the right path.  When a serial killer begins targeting John’s small town, John discovers the killer’s identity and learns that all the evil in the world might not be inside humans.

Directed by Billy O’Brien, I Am Not a Serial Killer is a fantasy horror film.  The film is based on the novel 2009 Dan Wells novel and originally premiered at South by Southwest in 2016.

I saw part of a trailer for I Am Not a Serial Killer on some movie I was watching and picked it up without really looking too deep into the film.  As the film unfolds, it turns from a straightforward film to a fantasy…that doesn’t always work.  Due to plot points, a ******spoiler alert****** exists.

i am not a serial killer christopher lloyd

Way to keep a low profile…

I kind of thought from the trailer that I was seeing a teenage version of Dexter.  A serial killer is facing off against someone with serial killer instincts that can see “inside” of the killer…giving him means to track him and uncover his crimes.  In some ways this is true, but it turns into a bizarre fantasy.  The killer isn’t human (this is revealed early on) and I kept hoping the twist was going to be that it was a coping mechanism for John’s character to perceive the other killer (and therefor himself) as inhuman…but the killer was actually a creature that steals body parts etc.  I didn’t really need this and would have rather seen a twist in the story.

Max Records is good as the teen with problems (he really reminds me of Rory Culkin).  It is good to see the child star grow-up and develop into more adult roles.  He’s joined by Christopher Lloyd as the serial killer and it is a different role for the usually comedic actor.  The film is surprisingly not populated by other popular character actors or cameos and that does give it a more “real” feel, but it also makes Lloyd a bit distracting because you are gauging him more on his past performances.

i am not a serial killer monster ending

Well…this isn’t where I expected this movie to go…

The movie is shot rather stylishly.  The creature inhabiting Lloyd’s body is given more passing glances and cameos until the end which builds some suspense.  Many of the shots are standard shots and the film has a nice edge in its appearance.

I Am Not a Serial Killer didn’t go the way I expected it to and unlike some pictures where that is a pleasant surprise, I kind of wish it had.  The John Wayne Cleaver character has a lot of potential (scenes between John and Bill’s wife Kay show the range and torment of the character), but it instead seems to get lost in the alien-supernatural-fairytale? killer instead of the teen on the edge.  The movie has a nice tongue-in-cheek approach to the storytelling that does keep it light, but I think it could have gone deeper without losing that fun.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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