I Am Not a Serial KillerLondon Film Festival 2016
In a northern Minnesota town a killer lurks, and 16-year-old John Wayne Cleaver (a character with three names, as with several famous murderers) wants to find him. A kind of Back to the Future meets The Silence of the Lambs, Billy O’Brien and Christopher Hyde’s I Am Not a Serial Killer is a unique and intriguing thriller.
Diagnosed by his psychiatrist as a sociopath, John (Max Records) wonders whether or not he might have homicidal tendencies, and as such, helping to prepare the corpses at his family’s morgue might not be the best idea. Whether John is actually potentially a serial killer himself or just an ideal candidate for the FBI due to his fascination with them is never completely certain. Obsessed with finding the homicidal maniac terrorising his town, he follows a young suspect, only to find that the true perpetrator is someone completely unexpected.
A loner who sees few people besides his mother (Laura Fraser) and aunt (Christina Baldwin), John has created self-imposed rules to curb his murderous impulses, and forces himself to spend time with his “friend” Max (Raymond Barnstorm) to pass as normal. His only other friend is Mr Crowley (Christopher Lloyd) next door. It is after John discovers the killer’s identity that he doggedly follows him, then becoming bolder, tries to thwart him. But what he is confronting is more horrific than he could imagine.
Cinematographer Robbie Ryan shoots some gorgeous grainy shots of a Minnesota suburb in winter, creating incongruence between normal suburbia and the gruesome slaughters, as well as an ambience of icy creepiness. Max Records brilliantly plays John as a teen who is an innocent but also devoid of emotion. Known for his role in Where the Wild Things Are, he has grown up to become an accomplished actor. Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) is as usual a remarkable performer, but here he takes on a new dimension in character and is fiercely impressive.
A riveting, well-put-together, well-acted piece, I Am Not a Serial Killer is terrifying, compelling and highly entertaining.
I Am Not a Serial Killer is released nationwide on 9th December 2016.
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