I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)

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I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)

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Review of "I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)"

published 23/07/2017 | sellerleygirl
Member since : 15/02/2015
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♬ •♩ All we need is rates!! •♩ Everybody!!•♩ All we need is rates!! ♩ •♬
Pro A clever little film that grabs your attention!
Cons None for me
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"A quirky low budget indie film - more thriller than horror."

I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)

I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)

-•- I am Not a Serial Killer-•-

-• Film Only Review -•-

-•- Tagline-•-

This is a story about a boy who can't love, fighting a monster who kills for love.

-•- Genre-•-

• Drama
• Horror
• Thriller
-• Film-•-

'I Am Not a Serial Killer' is a low budget, 2016 clever little indie horror/psychological thriller film shot on 16 mm film. It is based off the young adult novel series of the same name written by Dan Wells (who has a brief cameo as a police officer near the closing of the film.)
The story was adapted by Irish writer and director Billy O'Brien and co-writer Christopher Hyde for the big screen.
The main character John Wayne Cleaver is named after real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Gacy worked as a clown, and in the movie, on Halloween, the main character even dresses up as a clown.
Although set in the US, this is an Irish and English production.

Film Details

Directed by Billy O'Brien
Produced by James Harris, Mark Lane, Billy O'Brien, Nick Ryan and Robbie Ryan
Screenplay by Christopher Hyde and Billy O'Brien
Based on 'I Am Not a Serial Killer' by Dan Wells
Music by Adrian Johnston
Cinematography Robbie Ryan
Release date: 26 August 2016
DVD release: 20 February 2017
Classification: 15
Running time 103 minutes
-• The Trailer •-


-• -The Story -•-

"Adolescent can be a difficult time. It's normal to be drawn to death and murder, but you can go too far down that road, too far away from normal."

Sixteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver (played by Max Records) lives in Clayton, a small town in Minnesota, in a house where he lives with his mother, April (played by Laura Fraser) and her sister, Margaret (played by Christina Baldwin).
John gets bullied at high school because he's introvert and peculiar but he has one friend – Max (played by Raymond Branstrom), the girl next door (played by Brooke Watson) finds him oddly fascinating and he does enjoy an easy-going friendship with his elderly neighbours, Mr and Mrs Crowley (Christopher Lloyd and Dee Noah).
John's house also doubles up as the family funeral hall which the two sisters run; and the troubled teenager also helps out after school in the mortuary, helping his mother and aunt to prepare the bodies. The problem is that John is a diagnosed sociopath and is also obsessed with serial killers, he has made it his hobby of finding out just how they work. He is under the care of a therapist and is worried that this gristly obsession may actually turn him into a serial killer, or so he tells his therapist (played by Karl Geary.) Consequently, he has series of rules that he feels will keep himself and, more importantly, others, from harm.

Suddenly people start disappearing, strange accidents occur and bodies turn up with specific body parts removed from each body, all over the small Midwest town. John, having such dark tendencies of his own, takes an increased interest in the killings and is fascinated with the idea of discovering who is responsible for these acts, and turns detective to work out just who the killer is.
-• -The Main Cast -•-

Christopher Lloyd as Crowley
Max Records as John Wayne Cleaver
Laura Fraser as April Cleaver
Tim Russel as Greg Olsen
Christina Baldwin as Margaret
Karl Geary as Dr. Grant Neblin
Lucy Lawton as Brooke
Raymond Branstrom as Max

-• - Acting -• -

"I've been clinically diagnosed with sociopathy,' 'Do you know what that means?"

The two main actors in this film do a fantastic job; the two of them at each end of the age spectrum.
Max Records, as the young anti-social hero, gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, with his dishevelled look and natural charisma. Records does a really good job of making his character seem like a regular high school student, but with the little twist that he is a sociopath! I thought that there was more than a touch of a very young Johnny Depp here.He demonstrates well at just at odds he is with his family, teachers, friends and, at times, himself.

Then we travel to the other end of the age scale where Christopher Lloyd, as one of John’s prime suspects, is, as always, tremendous, as John’s mysterious geriatric neighbour. He manages to play a frail and decrepit old man as well as threateningly evil one all in the same scene.
There is a great chemistry together with the promising Young lead actor and the always-brilliant Mr Lloyd.

The film also having a solid supporting cast; some of which seem significant but don't matter to the story - or do they?
-• -My Opinion -•-

I have a strange relationship with horror films; for years, I couldn’t watch them and with teenage children loving the Freddy Kruger films etc., I stayed clear away – I was even too scared to watch ‘Psycho’ even though Hitchcock was one of my favourite directors!
Over the last few years though, I have started to enjoy the odd horror film – although I am still not a lover of excessive blood and gore!

When we were looking for a film to watch off Sky Cinema my husband chose either ‘Suicide Squad’ or ‘I am Not a Serial Killer’; having heard some dreadful reviews on the former film we decided on the latter.
I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised with this film, and enjoyed it far more than I expected to.
The film starts pretty slowly but moves along at a moderate pace, not too fast or too slow. – just enough to keep your interest. As I said earlier, I am a not a HUGE horror fan but do enjoy a good scare now and again. I would say that you do NOT have to be a horror fan to enjoy this film, and could easily be enjoyed by people who don't like horror films normally. It's not over-the-top scary or overly grisly and bloody (although there are a couple of parts where the more sensitive viewer may want to shield their eyes!)
The start of the story is slow, but it gives us chance to build up the characters and their backgrounds (although I have to say I am still; not 100% sure if John’s mother and ‘auntie’ were sisters or a lesbian couple)
This opening gives us time to realise that the troubled teenager is misunderstood and unsure of his feelings and his identity; as it concentrates on John's school and home life and how he deals with his father's absence and his murderous thoughts. We sympathise with his character, one scene, when he faces the school bullies at the Halloween party is excellent.

I am finding it very difficult to review this film without giving too much away, because to enjoy this film you really need to watch it knowing as little as possible about the plot. There are plenty of suspects who COULD be the killer, it has a well-developed story line, some excellently structured characters, has an aesthetically appealing winter look to it about it, is much slower paced than most horror films and is really worth watching.
This is NOT a ‘horror’ that will give you nightmares, but it is classified 15 for a reason, so don’t watch it with the kids!

-• Ratings-•-

• IMDb 6.2/10 from 8,459 reviews
• Metacritic :52% from 119 critics
• Rotten Tomatoes:94% from 47 reviews
-•- Critics -•-

• The Guardian: "Evoking the ghost of Donnie Darko, this weird horror hybrid is a darkly funny trip through the mind of a would-be killer"

• The Times: "Enjoyably gory and wry."

• Sight and Sound: "An affectionate, often funny look at small-town slaughter, with a killer protagonist for whom it is all too easy to root."

• The Observer: "Sinks its storytelling teeth deep enough to draw blood, while still retaining the flesh-wound frivolity of cackling morbid fun."

• New York Times: "‘I Am Not a Serial Killer,’ but somebody is"

-• - DVD Extras - •-

As I watched the film on Sky I didn’t see any extras, but I have looked on DVD Fever.co.uk, who list the following extras:

• Mood Cut (3:26): The short test film made for I Am Not A Serial Killer, Max Records takes the lead role again, at the age of just 13, but with a different actor in Christopher Lloyd’s part. It’s like a long trailer, with the main theme used throughout, but does contain spoilers if you’ve not watched the main film (which any normal person would watch first!)

• Phone Box Comparison (1:11): More test footage from when the lead was 13, and the final version of the film, albeit in 16:9.

• Puppet Shoot (2:28): This piece shows how puppetry was used in the final scene, and that’s all I will say about it.

• Deleted Scenes (5:25): Five of them, here, but nothing that particularly needs to go back in.

• Lake Storyboarding (2:47): The storyboards for a key scene by the lake, set to a piece of the movie’s theme.

• Toby Froud Monster designs (1:09): The early designs for the monster in sketch and clay form.
-• - How to View - •-

As of 24/07/17, ‘I am not a Serial Killer ‘can be purchased from Amazon from £5.63 new and £7.00 used or buy from Amazon Instant Video -£6.99
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK and are if you have a Prime account, if neither of these apply add £1.26 for postage
Amazon are currently offering £1.00 credit to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 credit per customer applies.
Offer ends at 23:59 GMT on Wednesday, December 20, 2017
It is also available free to subscribers on Netflix and Sky

-•- In Conclusion - •-

Do I recommend it?

I DO recommend that you watch this; don’t be put off by the fact that this is a ‘horror’ film – because it is more than that – it is a thriller and also a love story. In conclusion, It has a great visual style, fantastic performances, and there are some unexpected twists leading to the surprising ending.
Yes it does have some creepy moments, there is a fair amount of blood on the mortician’s table (but no more than the likes of ‘Silent Witness’ or even ‘Casualty’) but this ISN’T a horror movie as such – it is a thriller, a dark comedy, a love story of sorts, it has twists and turns and plenty of suspense and even a touch of folk lore.
Go on, you know you want to watch it!


1. Film on Sky
2. Christopher Lloyd as Crowley and Max Records as John Wayne Cleaver
3. John spying on the killer
4. John’s strange obsession with death
5. With his mother and Auntie in the mortuary
6. John at school with his one friend – Max
7. John and his therapist Dr. Grant Neblin (Karl Geary)

The film photos are taken from Google.

Thanks for reading I do hope that this review has been of some help!
© Sellerleygirl July 2017

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 31/07/2017
    e :o)
  • siberian-queen published 26/07/2017
    i watched this the other day too!
  • RobWK published 26/07/2017
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Product Information : I am Not a Serial Killer (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s): Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser

Director(s): Billy O'Brien

DVD Region: DVD

Video Category: Feature Film

Classification: 15 years and over

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5060105724473


Listed on Ciao since: 21/07/2017