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Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer – “Unpredictable and brilliant”

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I Am Not A Serial Killer

Adapted from the book by Dan Wells, I Am Not a Serial Killer is directed by Billy O’Brien (Isolation), and stars Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) and Laura Fraser (A Knight’s Tale).

Clayton is a small town in America’s heartland and John Wayne Cleaver (Records) is a baggy-clothed long-haired teenager who works at the family’s funeral home. Bullied, and with an interest in serial killers, and a fascination with wounds and viscera, John’s therapist and his mum know he has a lot of predictors for serial killer behaviour and are concerned that he has strayed “too far down the road away from normal thoughts”, so John swears to stay “normal” and to protect people.

When a fully-fledged serial killer, “The Clayton County Killer”, begins to strike and the bodies start to pile up in his mother’s morgue, John uses his knowledge of serial killers and their mindset to start profiling him – trying to catch the killer himself. Christopher Lloyd plays Crowley – the ageing killer – and he and John begin to strike up an unlikely friendship before John tries to stop him himself and a frantic and thrilling game of cat and mouse begins. Rules are broken, lines are crossed, and we discover that there is more to the elderly Crowley than meets the eye, and that John may be in way over his head.

I Am Not a Serial Killer is a crazy cool indie detective movie slasher, complete with a retro title slate and faux hair in the gate that gives it a slightly scuzzy feel throughout. The story and the way O’Brien unfolds events is unpredictable and brilliant – leaving you always on edge and unsure of where you’re heading. There are moments of chilling pure horror and the murders exhibit a truly gruesome brutality.

All this is grounded and fronted by a fantastic pair of performances from Records and Lloyd. Records is a sympathetic lead who can go from wide-eyed wonder to spine-freezingly sinister in a heartbeat, and he gets some glorious revenge on a bully with nothing but psychology and thinly veiled threats. Christopher Lloyd’s performance is stunning and totally terrifying. His body may be slowed by age, but Crowley’s blood lust is not dulled at all and when Lloyd’s friendly grandfather unleashes the beast it is with an ungodly roar that buries any Doc Brown associations.

The two’s mind games, one-upmanship and attacks on each other escalate until a completely unanticipated twist completely changes everything, and will leave you mouthing “what the heck?!” An excellent indie teen serial killer thriller, with Christopher Lloyd as you’ve never seen him before, I Am Not a Serial Killer plays like ‘Daria’ meets ‘Dexter’, or Stephen King doing an episode of ‘Veronica Mars’.

5-out-of-5

The film is out in the UK on 9th December 2016.

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