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I Am Not a Serial Killer

Canadian Premiere
  • USA
  • 2016
  • 104 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Hosted by Actor Christopher Lloyd

Official Selection: SXSW 2016

“O’Brien conjures an infectious sense of place on a small budget: dark but never dreary, haunting but oddly cheerful” – Andrew Barker, VARIETY

I am not a Serial Killer from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

Sixteen-year-old John Cleaver (Max Records) knows better than to listen to his impulses. Obsessed with serial killers and monsters, he feels it in his gut — he could tip over the edge any day. Assisting in autopsies at his mother April’s (Laura Fraser) funeral home seems to keep his sociopathic impulses at bay for now, as does the friendship of his elderly neighbour Mr. Crowley (Christopher Lloyd). When a series of gruesome murders shakes the small Midwestern community he lives in, John’s interest is piqued, his impulses rekindled. A real monster has come to town, and while the investigation might just push him over the edge, John has no choice but to pursue it. After all, who better to understand a serial killer that a closet teenage sociopath?

With I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Billy O’Brien (ISOLATION) unites a killer cast (of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, BACK TO THE FUTURE and BREAKING BAD fame) to adapt Dan Wells’ successful young adult novel of the same name into something nearly transcendent — a film that conjures both the terror and isolation of adolescence in small-town America, all the while delivering an impeccable teenage sleuth story with a stunning supernatural twist. Achieved, in no small part, thanks to Robbie Ryan’s lush 16mm cinematography (hot off lensing Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner I, DANIEL BLAKE and Andrea Arnold’s Jury prize winner AMERICAN HONEY), I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER beams with the DP’s trademark artful naturalism, letting the characters and the locale breathe tremendously, and in turn allowing for the pathos, and horror to hit that much harder!

— Ariel Esteban Cayer