Review: “I Am Not A Serial Killer” Is A Slice Of Indie Films At Their Best



Title: I Am Not a Serial Killer
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Great story, Inventive, Great acting

Posted September 9, 2016 by

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Every so often a film comes along that you haven’t heard much about but that surprises you with how original and good it is. “I Am Not A Serial Killer” is one of those movies. Getting a relatively unknown cast and throwing in Christopher Lloyd for old time’s sake, I assumed this would be one of those films whose intentions were good but that would fall short of anything I would be interested in: I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

This is just a sample of what makes Indie films great

Director and screenwriter Billy O’Brien, along with help from newcomer Christopher Hyde, are able to create this captivating story about one young man’s journey of being labeled a sociopath and yet trying to get to the bottom of a string of murders that have been happening around the small town he lives in. Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) plays John Wayne Cleaver, a young man who is reclusive, has only one friend, and who hangs out with his mother as she embalms dead people. He’s always felt different than everyone but it isn’t until a psychiatrist labels him a sociopath that he feels he can really feel comfortable in his own skin. There’s one scene in particular that is as funny as it is disturbing: the school bully approaches John at a school function, obviously to terrorize him in public, yet John keeps smiling. When the guy asks John why he’s smiling, he replies that he’s recently been labeled a sociopath so people are just objects to him. He describes to the bully that he appears as nothing more than a cardboard box and while he looks boring on the outside, the interesting thing is what he looks like on the inside. Instead of giving into his desires to cut the guy open, John says he smiles instead and tries to think of something nice. It’s such a small moment, but one that perfectly describes the mental state John is in and how dangerous he really can be.

In his spare time, John helps out his older neighbor Crowley (Christopher Lloyd) who is growing increasingly weak and sick. Crowley’s biggest fear is leaving his wife behind and he’ll do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. Possibly even killing people. This is where the story really gets interesting as the relationship between Crowley and John obviously gets strained when John suspects him to be the town killer, and even more so when the reality of the situation finally comes to light.

“I Am Not A Serial Killer” is an inventive and fresh take on the killer genre and does a great job at not damning any of its characters but instead showing the motives behind their actions. This film could have easily been lost in its direction, but Billy O’Brien lends the film a unique and interesting look that makes it stand out from the rest in its field. This is just a sample of what makes Indie films great; proving that a strong story beats out flashy CGI any day of the week.




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