Wednesday, October 11, 2017

31 Days of Halloween 2017: I Am Not a Serial Killer

2016, Billy O'Brien (The Hybrid) -- Netflix

This is one of those movies that is so indie yet so bloody sincere, you quickly forget the low budget. So many of those low budget indie movies carry the weight of bad acting & directing like so much stress eating fat. Its uncomfortable and the movie moves badly for it. But this movie just shrugs it off and trudges through the wintry setting unburdened by what it lacks.

In a small mid-western, unnamed town in the deep of winter young John Wayne Cleaver, whom I believed was three-named because so many serial killers are, is struggling with teenagehood and the fact he is a diagnosed sociopath. His mom and his therapist do their best to deal with it, and so does John, with his collection of "normal behaviours" that he wears like a costume. But being the subject of bullies doesn't help. Nor does the fact that the town is the subject of random, horrific murders, of which John becomes a little obsessed. We are supposed to think it might be him.

One night John witnesses the nice old man, with whom John actually has a good relationship, leads a local man onto the ice, isolated and alone. And instantly reverts to a monstrous form to kill the man, to then remove his lungs and ... ingest them? WTF, this movie that we assumed was about a budding sociopath dealing with a real psychopath turns into a monster movie!

Woot! We had a deficit of such this year.

The rest of the movie is a fun cat & mouse game between John and the nice old man / monster, played by Christopher Lloyd. The Monster is being forced into more activity, less safe, because of John's harassment but John being John, there is no way he can just tell people there is a monster in town. They already think he's a freak. And John is confronting what it is like to be a true monster, both being attracted to the activity but realizing he is much more tied to his family and town than he ever realized.