Tagged: Christopher Lloyd

I Am Not A Serial Killer

 

 

Summary: In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th September 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: 9th November, 2016

Country: Ireland, UK

Director: Billy O’Brien

Screenwriter: Christopher Hyde, Billy O’Brien, Dan Wells (novel)

Cast: Christina Baldwin (Margaret), Elizabeth Belfiori (Rachel), Laura Fraser (April), James Gaulke (Principal Layton), Karl Geary (Sr. Neblin), Lucy Lawton (Brooke Watson), Michael Paul Levin (Roger Bowen), Christopher Lloyd (Crowley), Dee Noah (Kay Crowley), Tommy O’Brien (Ethan Watson), Tony Papenfuss (Ron The Coroner), Max Records (John Wayne Cleaver), Tim Russell (Olson the Barber), Mary Kay Schmitt (Mrs. Anderson), Dane Stauffer (Mark Watson)

Runtime: 104 mins

Classification: MA15+

OUR I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Horror films have got decisively smarter over the years. The old school slice ‘n’ dice slashers that wowed audience in the 1980s and 1990s seem alarmingly redundant as horror film makers have discovered what really scares an audience is a film that can really get inside the head of those watching it and give them a good psychological scare. That is certainly the case with director Billy O’Brien’s (Isolation) new film I Am Not A Serial Killer which gets inside you head as a good psychological thriller and then delivers a special twist for all horror fans out there.

Set in a small American town I Am Not A Serial Killer centres around sixteen year old John Wayne Cleaver (Max RecordsWhere The Wild Things Are), a teenager who is obsessed by serial killers, works as an embalmer with his mother April (Laura FraserA Knight’s Tale) and has been diagnosed as a clinical sociopath by his therapist Dr. Neblin (Karl GearyThe Burrowers).

John fights against his urges to kill by doing small things like smiling at people who make him angry and helping out with those less fortunate than those around him, like his elderly neighbour Crowley (Christopher LloydBack To The Future). However when a spate of murders start happening in the town it sparks John’s interest and he wants to try and find out exactly who is doing it.

Anyone out there who wants to learn how to write a great screenplay should start by sitting down and watching I Am Not A Serial Killer. Billy O’Brien teams up with Christopher Hyde (Last Light) to create an amazing script based on the novel by Dan Wells. When the two took on this challenge it was no small feat. While the novel was considered a young adult novel, it was a film that had to be different to other young adult films like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. While many were impressed by the ‘darkness’ of The Hunger Games this film has to go even darker and it explores going inside the head of a teenager who every day fights the urge to kill those around him.

Somehow O’Brien and Hyde manage to achieve this goal and they create a film that is part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age film with a little twist of horror. Not only do that but they manage to make this a film with believable dialogue and even make the young sociopath a character that the audience want to root for as he sets about trying to solve the murders that are terrifying the town. The realistic dialogue just adds to the naturalistic feel brought to the film by cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Philomena), a feel that is quite common in British cinema but but still matches this film’s American scene well.The screenplay also shows his hand as a great psychological thriller as it keeps its audience guessing – first of all to who is committing the murders and even after that is revealed the film doesn’t lose any of its suspense as it becomes a game of cat and mouse between an experienced serial killer and teenager who dreams about doing the same.

As this film is guaranteed to become a cult classic as the years go by this is also going to do for young Max Records’ career what the film Brick did for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Watching this film you would never pick that this is the little boy from Where The Wild Things Are and instead he has turned into a fine character actor who deserves to be winning awards for this film. He brings the role to life amazingly well and never seems out of his depth not even when in scenes with the very experienced Christopher Lloyd who is also playing against type.

Despite having a limited release in Australia I Am Not A Serial Killer is one of the best films of 2016. This gritty film is enough to show just how strong the British indie scene as this is one of the best psychological thrillers to surface since Prisoners and Nightcrawler. This is an amazing film that is not to be missed.

Stars(4)

 

 

 

Greg King:

This gripping low budget psychological thriller mixes the familiar coming of age themes with outright horror tropes and a touch of the supernatural.

Sixteen-year-old John Wayne Cleaver (played by Max Records, the misunderstood young hero from Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are) is a troubled adolescent, a misfit with a morbid fascination with death and serial killers. He is something of an outsider, and he has written school essays on notorious serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and the BTK killer, which concerns his principal. He works as an embalmer with his mother April (Laura Fraser), a morgue technician, at the family funeral parlour, and this feeds his fascination with death. He has been diagnosed with clinical sociopathy, but he is able to keep his dark homicidal urges at bay through regular therapy sessions with Dr Neblin (Karl Geary). He has established his own set of rules to keep these killer thoughts at bay. He also does good deeds to help his elderly amiable neighbour Mr Crowley (Back To The Future‘s Christopher Lloyd) and his invalid wife.

That is until a vicious serial killer begins leaving a trail of bodies behind in his small home town. Mysterious black sludge is found at the scene of the murders, and it appears that the killer is harvesting the organs of victims. John investigates and soon discovers the identity of the killer. But rather than go to the police with the information he tries to catch him. In doing this he puts himself and his family and a few friends firmly in the crosshairs of a killer.

The film is based on Dan Wells’ best-selling YA novel from 2009 and has an unusually darker sensibility for a piece of teen fiction. The director is Billy O’Brien (Isolation, etc), who has a strong visual style and creates an unsettling atmosphere and slowly mounting air of dread and suspense. He doesn’t pull his punches with the darker themes and there are some gruesome moments that are not for the squeamish. The body count rises and the film gradually grows darker in tone. But there are also some rather black moments of humour interspersed throughout the narrative to leaven the tone.

Like The Town That Dreaded Sundown and David Lynch’s bizarre Blue Velvet, this creepy thriller strips away the veneer of small town America and finds something nasty and sinister just below the surface. Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan (Fish Tank, The Angels’ Share, etc) has shot the film in 16mm, which adds to the gritty visual style and the moody atmosphere that captures a distinctly 80s aesthetic. Ryan’s cold and crisp cinematography captures the subtle menace of this small town and its harsh wintry vistas and John’s somewhat bleak world view. O’Brien gives us a strong sense of place and we can almost feel the chill from the snow covered environment.

The film boasts some solid performances. Records is well cast here as the obsessed teen, a junior version of Dexter with his obsessions and quirky behaviour, and he holds our attention throughout the film. He brings a disconnected coldness and lack of empathy to his performance. His name is an intriguing mixture of both John Wayne the iconic American film star and hero, John Wayne Gacy the notorious serial killer, and Beaver Cleaver, the all-American kid from the 50s television show. In one of his best performances for quite some time Lloyd brings subtle nuances and a creepy element to his performance as the seemingly kindly old neighbour. Fraser brings a sense of compassion to her role as John’s mother who seems protective of her son even though she doesn’t understand him.

I Am Not A Serial Killer undergoes some surprising and unexpected shifts in tone, moving from teen friendly murder mystery to darker territory. This clever and engaging thriller is perfect fodder for late night screenings, and could possibly become something of a cult film in the future.

Stars(3.5)

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment I Am Not A Serial Killer Reviews: You can also listen to our I Am Not A Serial Killer reviews on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #195.

Trailer:

Spectre Poster

We take a look at the most popular movies and television shows online over the past week.

  1. Spectre (2015) – Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes
  2. The Walking Dead (2010) – Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs
  3. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
  4. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan peters, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Jessica Lange
  5. Supergirl (2015) – Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Jeremy Jordan
  6. The Martian (2015) – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
  7. The Flash (2014) – Greant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes
  8. Crimson Peak (2015) – Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
  9. The Last Witch Hunter (2015) – Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Olafur Darri Olafsson
  10. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  11. The Ridiculous 6 (2015) – Adam Sandler, Julia Jones, Taylor Lautner, Whitney Cummings
  12. Fargo (2014) – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks
  13. Gotham (2014) – Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Camren Bicondova
  14. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harrington, Lena Headey
  15. The Gift (2015) – Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman
  16. The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015) – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki
  17. Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (2015) – Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont
  18. Jurassic World (2015) – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer
  19. Bridge Of Spies (2015) – Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
  20. Love (2015) – Aomi Muyock, Karl Glusman, Klara Kristin, Juan Saavedra
  21. Goosebumps (2015) – Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee
  22. Hocus Pocus (1993) – Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Omri Katz
  23. Sherlock (2010) – Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves
  24. Suicide Squad (2016) – Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne, Jared Leto, Ben Affleck
  25. Back To The Future (1985) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Star Wars The Force Awakens

We take a look at the most popular movies and television shows online over the past week.

  1. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) – Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver
  2. Crimson Peak (2015) – Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam
  3. The Walking Dead (2010) – Anderew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs
  4. American Horror Story (2011) – Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Denis O’Hare, Jessica Lange
  5. The Martian (2015) – Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara
  6. Back To The Future (1985) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover
  7. Spectre (2015) – Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux
  8. The Flash (2014) – Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes
  9. Bridge Of Spies (2015) – Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
  10. Goosebumps (2015) – Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee
  11. Arrow (2012) – Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson
  12. Fargo (2014) – Billy Bob Thonrton, Martin Freeman, AllisonTolman, Colin Hanks
  13. Knock Knock (2015) – Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Aaron Burns
  14. Back To The Future II (1989) – Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson
  15. The Last Witch Hunter (2015) – Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, Olafur Darri Olafsson
  16. Beasts Of No Nation (2015) – Abraham Attah, Emmanuel Affadzi, Ricky Adelayitor, Andrew Adote
  17. Game Of Thrones (2011) – Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey
  18. Gotham (2014) – Ben McKenzie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue, Camren Bicondova
  19. Sicario (2015) – Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal
  20. Jurassic World (2015) – Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Judy Greer
  21. Steve Jobs (2015) – Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
  22. Inside Out (2015) – Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling
  23. Black Mass (2015) – Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dokata Johnson, Joel Edgerton
  24. Scream Queens (2015) – Emma Roberts, Skyler Samuels, Lea Michele, Glen Powell
  25. Pan (2015) – Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara

A Million Ways To Die InThe West 2

Summary: As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Screenwriter: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild

Cast: John Aylward (Pastor Wilson), Preston Bailey (Young Albert), Johnny Bautista (Carl), Alex Borstein (Millie), Amick Byram (Marcus Thornton), Ardy Brent Carlson (Cowboy Ardy), Jean Effron (Elsie Stark), Jamie Foxx (Django), Ralph Garman (Dan), Gilbert Gottfried (Abraham Lincoln), Christopher Hagen (George Stark), Neil Patrick Harris (Foy), Evan Jones (Lewis), Rex Linn (Sheriff/Narrator), Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Seth MacFarlane (Albert), Ewan McGregor (Cowboy At Fair), Aaron McPherson (Ben), Liam Neeson (Clinch), Jay Patterson (Doctor Harper), Ryan Reynolds (Man Killed By Clinch In Bar), Giovanni Ribisi (Edward), Brett Rickaby (Charlie Blanche), Mike A. Salazar (6-Year-Old-Albert), Amanda Seyfried (Louise), Sarah Silverman (Ruth), Patrick Stewart (Dream Voice), Wes Studi (Cochise), Charlize Theron (Anna), Debbie Waters (Mother Of James Addison)

Runtime: 116 mins

Classification: MA15+

 

OUR A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can check out Adam’s A Million Ways To Die In The West review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3)

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s A Million Ways To Die In The West review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

Television fans worldwide had always known that Seth MacFarlane was a comedy genius. His show-pony, the hilarious Family Guy had revealed a dark sense of humor that wasn’t always politically correct but was always worth a laugh or two. Then came Ted, a film that centered around a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, drug abusing bear, a film that also proved that Mr MacFarlane’s comedic talents could also transfer to the big screen.

Now comes MacFarlane’s real test, that difficult second film… very often the film that will make or break a filmmaker. Just to raise the bar even higher MacFarlane has decided the tough task of making a comedy western, a genre that works well in the shape of Blazing Saddles but has also delivered some severe duds along the way. Besides that he has also decided to star, direct, write and produce the whole shebang. The good news for his fans though is he delivers the goods.

MacFarlane (Movie 43, Ted) plays Albert, a kind-hearted sheep farmer who is a bit of a loser when it comes to life. He spends most of his time concerned at the million or so ways that the old west can kill you while also seemingly fail at being a sheep farmer considering his sheep are normally found wondering all around the town he calls home.

To add to his loser status he suddenly finds himself dumped by his girlfriend, Louise (Amanda Seyfried – Epic, The Big Wedding) who decides that she is better suited the much more successful and moustached Foy (Neil Patrick Harris – Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, The Smurfs 2). Worse still is the fact that Foy has challenged Albert to a gun duel and despite his surroundings he has never fired a gun before in his life.

Enter Anna (Charlize Theron – Prometheus, Snow White And The Huntsman) the attractive gun-slinger who rides into town and takes an interest liking to Albert. She is more than happy to train him for the gun fight and along the way they learn that they also share the same interests… and sense of the humor. The one thing that she fails to tell him though is that she is married to, Clinch (Liam Neeson – The Lego Movie, Non-Stop), a tough, violent outlaw who is not impressed when he finds about Anna and Albert.

While A Million Ways To Die In The West does ultimately work it is on occasions hit and miss… although the hits do outweigh the misses. The typical MacFarlane humour is there that his fans have come to know and love, the cheap shots at everyday life and the occasional black humour moment that makes you laugh despite the fact that you feel it is not a topic that you should be laughing at. To his credit this type of humour works throughout the film but at times it also feels that MacFarlane works too hard to get his comedic point across. For example do we really need to see Foy kick over a hat full of diarrhoea to get the joke, or do we need a close-up of a sheep penis to find the fact the sheep relieves itself on Albert hilarious?

Then there are the parts of the film that work amazingly well. Albert is set up as a character that you are going to like and while some of the characters, such as Clinch, could be described as clichés there are interesting peripheral characters such as Edward (Giovanni Ribisi – Gangster Squad, Ted) and Ruth (Sarah Silverman – Gravy, TV’S Louie), a Christian couple that don’t have sex before marriage despite the fact that she works as a prostitute. It’s these kinds of side stories that certainly keeps the audience focussed on the film and laughing throughout.

When it comes to the acting side of A Million Ways To Die In The West a few of the cast get really smooth runs. Liam Neeson plays Clinch well but it feels like he is in cruise control while at times it almost feels like Charlize Theron is playing herself. Sarah Silverman, Giovanni Ribisi and Neil Patrick Harris all nail their comedic timing, while MacFarlane has shown that he is a good actor when he steps in front of the camera. Hopefully we see him do more of that in the future and not just concentrate on voice work.

A Million Ways To Die In The West is not the kind of comedy that will appeal to everybody, some of the jokes may go into some people’s ‘too crass’ pile, but for others this is going to be the kind of film that you will get laughs at throughout. Maybe not as good as Blazing Saddles but still a worthwhile comedy with a good romantic subplot.

Stars(3)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West′: For our full A Million Ways To Die In The West review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer: