Based on the novel by Dan Wells, I am not a Serial Killer tells the tale of a small town that becomes the target for an adventurous serial killer. After the police get nowhere, teenage outsider John (Max Records) takes the investigation into his own hands. John has a morbid fascination with serial killers. Diagnosed by his therapist as a sociopath he revels in his oddness but must put aside his own dark desires in order to track down the killer. His prime suspect is elderly neighbour Crowley (Christopher Lloyd), but can such a sickly man really be committing these murderous acts?
Records started his acting career young (he’s the boy in Where the Wild Things are) and has already started to hone his craft. His turn as John is engaging and he more than holds his own against his co-star, the brilliant Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd’s performance is much more subdued and reserved that his iconic roles in Back to the Future, The Addam’s Family and Who Framed Rodger Rabbit, but he still commands attention in all his scenes.
Plot-wise the story dips into Goosebumps territory in several places, but don’t worry, they’re the good Goosebumps stories. There’s plenty of material for the viewer to sink there teeth into, especially around mortality and wishes for your remains; John’s family own and run the local mortuary, his part-time job being as an embalmer. As such there are plenty of scenes of embalming which are probably best to avoid if you’re squeamish about what happens to the body after death.
A dark murder mystery thriller with a sci-fi horror spin, I am not a Serial Killer has an intriguing premise backed up by solid performances.
I am not a Serial Killer screens as part of 2016’s Fantasia International Film Festival programme.
Find all our of Fantasia 2016 coverage here.