In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay. – (Source)
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 94% (Critics) / 61% (Audience)
Directed By: Billy O’Brien
Written By: Billy O’Brien and Christopher Hyde
Starring: Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser
Studio: Floodland Pictures
Max Records does a great job playing (the fittingly named John Wayne Cleaver) the awkward teenage outcast with a macabre fixation on true crime stories and who might possibly be a budding serial killer. He is able to convey the average moody teenager behavior while also playing an underlying fear of the monster he may become.
The BIG TWIST really succeeded in shocking me since I have not read the source material (the movie is based on a book by Dan Wells); it was something I was really not expecting and that is not all that common in movies today. It basically went from being a teenage DEXTER and morphed into a sci-fi horror movie.
I also really loved the “Midwest in the dead of winter” setting. The stark and snowy landscape served to make the air of dreary hopelessness come through in almost every scene.
The massive shift in tone after the movie’s BIG TWIST doesn’t do this film any favors as the first hour’s quirky coming of age tale about a potential serial killer/boy detective gets tossed aside for a more straightforward supernatural thriller. I was really enjoying the Donnie Darko-esque vibe to that first hour too.
The movie kinda glosses over John’s first real foray into his potential serial killer persona. The scene in question was pretty violent and disturbing but was treated like it was no big deal in the aftermath.
Final Verdict: An interesting movie that merges several genre’s into an entertaining little bouillabaisse. While there were some issues with how tonal shifts were handled and one particular plot point that irked me, I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER is well worth the watch.