I have to admit, I was a little perturbed at myself for missing the new Billy O’Brien film “I Am Not A Serial Killer” at SXSW this year, but given the chance to see this most-buzzed about film at the BFI London Film Festival this past week, I knew I couldn’t let this film slip by my previewing eye a second time.
“I Am Not A Serial Killer” is a sombre film and not exactly your typical horror movie. Think Dexter/Six Feet Under meets indie shabby chic/true grit and you’ll paint yourself a nice visual.
What’s it all about? Well take a typical emotionally troubled teen who is on the brink of becoming a serial killer, standing at the crossroads of normality or a life of gruesome crime. Mix in a curious fascination with the dead (his family owns a mortuary) and some quite brilliant, impeccably thought-out threats to his high-school bully and you’ll find yourself captivated and chuckling a few times in this grim and bleak tale of shock/horror in this small, Midwestern town. There is a pivotal moment in this film that feels very similar in vibe to Jake Gyllenhaal’s film “Enemy” which is a cinematic masterpiece that I absolutely loved – if that gives you an idea of the tonality of the this film.
Some might argue that “I Am Not A Serial Killer” doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Is it a horror film? Is it a thriller/mystery? Is it a sci-fi imaginarium? Who knows. There are elements to all of these genres intertwined in this film and it’s one of those movies that you’ll probably either love or hate. You’ll even exclaim “WTF” more than a few times too – that is for sure.
It took me a few moments to decide if I indeed loved or hated the film, but in the end, I will go as far as to recommend it to anyone who likes a good story that keeps you guessing. If you like a good genre twist, well you’ll like what Billy O’Brien did here. If you get a chance to watch it – do. It’s not bad.
All-in-all, “I Am Not A Serial Killer” is a pleasant indie surprise that I enjoyed. I gave it that same “nod of approval” feeling I got when watching indie horror flick “Hush” earlier this year.
If you like horror, something tells me you’ll be seeing this on your Netflix queue soon enough…
Need a second opinion? Check out Phil Mariott’s review of the film as well.