I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (2016) – But something else, yes

I am not a serial killer

“I Am Not a Serial Killer” is a 2016 film directed by Billy O’Brien, based on the book by Dan Wells. The title is super cool, don’t you think? I find it a bit outside of Horrornauta’s usual scope, but to be honest, I loved this film.

The plot of “I Am Not a Serial Killer” revolves around our bizarre sociopathic protagonist, John (Max Records). John is terrified of losing control and becoming a serial killer (although he is himself fascinated by them). His family owns a funeral home, which in a way almost “keeps in check” his obsessive curiosity about death. The icing on the cake is when a serial killer appears to satiate John’s insatiable curiosity. I won’t go much further; I’ll just tell you there’s some good black humor and a very unique story.

I am not a serial killer morgue

What I Liked About “I Am Not a Serial Killer”

One of the many reasons I decided to review the film without the constraint of staying silent about key scenes is quite personal: for one reason or another (it might have been a mistake from the start), I watched the film with a certain mindset, which ultimately allowed me to gladly accept the final plot twist, shattering my little castle of cards. I’ll elaborate further below.

Let’s start! First of all, as usual, I’m always attracted to the somewhat silly aspects of a film (titles, covers, an actor). In this case, it was the title that intrigued me, along with a rather captivating trailer and an excellent soundtrack. Additionally, I’m not an expert in the field, but I believe the film was shot with a particular type of film (I think it was 6mm Fuji), which added a certain vintage vibe and colors that, even for someone colorblind like me, are beautiful.

So, four things I liked about “I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER”: Max Records, the location, the black humor, and the story.

I am not a serial killer panda's mask

Max Records as John, protagonist of “I Am Not a Serial Killer”

Wow! He was amazing throughout the film! His performance was truly fantastic! The expressiveness, the movements, the tone of voice, and a lot of things really worked well! For instance, when he tries to “prepare” his conversations with the neighbors and consistently fails; the moments when he obsessively focuses on something, almost isolating himself from the outside world for a moment; the “rules” he imposes on himself to maintain control. The use of the pronoun “IT” for people, which his mother corrects with “HE/SHE” and that by the end of the film, we see him correcting his mother. I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps the “good side of John,” his desire to “obstruct” the killer, is more of a game than something driven by a sense of morality or protection towards others.

I am not a serial killer

Crazy in love with the black humor and cold, snowy locations

I love the setting so much; maybe it’s because I’m attracted to cold and snowy places, but I really love the place! Along with the setting, you’ll notice, watching the film, a good dose of black humor, which I couldn’t help but appreciate, because I like it a lot and I think it’s not out of place but rather well-placed!

The Story of “I Am Not a Serial Killer”

Oh my! Where do I start? Do you remember when I wrote a bit earlier that I approached this film with a certain mindset? So, let me explain: from the beginning, I couldn’t really consider the “supernatural” part of the film. I mean, I thought that most of the scenes involving “the thing” were a projection of John. I thought it was his way of seeing the act of murder, or his mental way of censoring certain things. I thought it was all a mental distortion of John’s. I don’t remember exactly why I started this way during the first viewing, but I just didn’t take what I was seeing as real: to me, “the thing” was just a metaphor.

I thought I had more confirmation of my vision from the scene where he imagines that this girl gets run over when it doesn’t really happen. So, watching the film strong in this belief, when I got to the end, I was like, “w h a t, what are you telling me?” I was totally mind-blown and so happy because I’m always happy when a film manages to surprise me and destroy what I thought I had “predicted.”

I am not a serial killer alien hand

So, is “I Am Not a Serial Killer” worth watching?

As I already mentioned, “I Am Not a Serial Killer” is a psychological horror, more in the genre of “The Eyes of My Mother.” There isn’t an abundance of gore or dismemberment, but even though it didn’t give me that sense of disgust or disturbance that I seek, it’s definitely one of those films that stuck in my head. When I was planning my rewatch, I was like, “I remember I liked this film a lot but can’t recall what exactly,” and boy, I enjoyed all 104 minutes without skipping a single one. I recommend it as a film to enjoy alone; Max Records is fantastic, charismatic, and engaging!

Picture of Lorena | Horrornauta.it

Lorena | Horrornauta.it

I like unusual horror, the kind that gets under your skin and scares you because it's realistic. The anxiety of watching something that, all things considered, could easily appear in the real world. Email me at hello@horrornauta.it.

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