I Am Not a Serial Killer full movie review - A movie that doesn't know what it is.
Have you ever seen the show 'Dexter'? Well, now we have a movie version of that show. The film is about a young man that is, I guess, a sociopath.
He lives in a small town and works with his family at a morgue. Then the town is thrown into turmoil when people show up brutally murdered and missing body parts. So, the young man boy starts to investigate. Before I start going into what I liked and didn't like about the film I should mention that this is based on a novel. A book that, after talking with someone that has read it, is really only a jumping off point. It has the same basic story from that book but the story apparently is changed from a mystery type thing into whatever this is.
I think that is the biggest problem with the film. It has no idea what it wants to be. It's not a mystery, it's not a thriller, it's not a character study, and it's not a horror. So what is it? The only thing it really is is a movie. And that was very disappointing. Within the first ten minutes, any mystery is stripped away and it takes even less time to lose any interesting characters. ? The main two characters in the film are the boy-man (Max Records) and the old man (Christopher Lloyd). Unfortunately for them, all they have to work with is like one line that describes them. Records play a sociopath that is the most sociopathy sociopath to ever sociopath. While Lloyd plays an old guy that has health issues. That's pretty much the extent of character that we get here.
One thing that I kept hoping would happen was that the young boy would take an interest in whoever the killer was because he is an emotionless boy. But no, he takes an interest in the killer because the movie wants him too. You don't get any scenes that make you feel like he is actually intrigued by the serial killer. He never fanboys over him or gets excited about his style. Nothing like that.
Instead, he just follows people around for two hours and then the movie ends. He see's a random guy walking around a couple of times and decides to follow him for no reason. Then this random man goes fishing with Lloyd within the first fifteen minutes and gets brutally murdered by said old man. So young dude just kind of follows Lloyd around for the rest of the run time.
There just isn't anything interesting introduced in the film. Sure, it's an unconventional little slasher movie but the only intriguing parts of the film are pulled away when it gives up its plot twist so early on. So whenever it tries to give us moments of wonder they feel flavorless. That's a rather large problem. It feels like a bland retelling of something (in this case a book) that has been done better.
But there are elements that I thoroughly enjoyed. One being the performances. I haven't really seen Lloyd in particularly anything for quite some time so watching him give a great performance despite his dull character was great. Any time the film needed him to show emotion he never went over the top with it. You could tell what he was thinking just by simple facial expressions. And the film had the good sense to not just blatantly say what people were thinking at all times.
Nor did it try and dump exposition on you. It let the story play out without stopping to tell you about everything that was happening. It never says that the alien guy is this or that and can do this and that. It just does what it does. Which makes it far more compelling to see whenever it does appear. And it doesn't really appear all that often which was another subtly placed, nice touch.
That being said, hands down the best part of the film is the soundtrack. I highly recommend giving it a listen because it communicates the tone of the movie far better than the movie is able to do on its own. And that's majorly why this fails. There's a lot of cool things here. It's very restrained in some aspects and the technical side is well done. Yet, the story and characters are in utter disarray. It's unevenly paced, flat, and so simple that it's just straight up boring. Watching a kid I don't know anything about wander around watching another guy wander around waiting for something to happen isn't my idea of a good time.