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I Am Not a Serial Killer

I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

August. 26,2016
| Drama Horror Thriller Mystery

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


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Michael Ledo

John Wayne Cleaver (Max Records) is a teen sociopath growing up in Clayton, Ohio. He has the traits of being a serial killer, but manages to keep his urges under control when pushed. His Mom runs the town's funeral home and he has access to dead bodies. The town does have a serial killer and John has a fascination with him, so much he does his own investigation.This is a dark humor horror film. We get to know the killer after a few kills. There is blood and body parts.I love these clever indie horror tales. They tend to have some unique element making formula guessing a film impossible. I also recommend "Night of the Living Deb" a comedy/zombie indie.Guide: No swearing that I recall. No sex or nudity.


In the small mid-western town of Clayton County, a serial killer is running rampant and one particular young man John Cleaver (Max Records) becomes interested in the case and starts to use his own skills to track down the killer. When he eventually discovers who the killer is he finds himself on a dangerous collision course with the serial killer in what becomes a perilous battle-of-wits...The main draw with this film (at least in its early stages) is Max Records; he plays a fairly interesting character even if he falls into the usual cliché of being the 'weird kid at high school.' He's a sociopathic kid with obsessive tendencies (in his case he is obsessed with serial killers and the inner workings of their minds). The foundations of the story are promising, but the actual results here are rather meagre; given the way the story began to develop I was really hoping for a good battle-of-wits or cat and mouse game between John and our serial killer, but it never really manifests itself in this manner and the film never becomes as exciting or tense as it could have been.I Am Not A Serial Killer has supernatural undercurrents to it's theme in respect of the serial killer, but the whole basis of this story is rather flimsy and poorly explained; I understand that he's been possessed or is perhaps a ghost of some description, but how did all this come about? Also why was his desire to kill subdued for such a long time? Has he been hibernating? His face is also displayed on the news on a regular occurrence, but no-one recognises him?? Yes I know he's a lot older, but you'd still think that someone would recognise him...One other thing that I noticed was in the scene where John is in the phone box talking to the serial killer there is lots of snow all over the place - yet in the subsequent scene when the serial killer chases him for about 100 yards all of the snow seems to disappear, then in the next scene there's snow everywhere?? I presume that the explanation for this is that it was filmed over several months and at different times of the year, but filmmakers really should check their editing and continuity as errors like this are glaringly obvious and look rather amateurish.The strong links with this film are Max Records who plays the sociopathic odd kid to near perfection and Christopher Lloyd who is also excellent in his respective role and is both creepy and unnerving - although he does seem to mumble some of his dialogue at times making it difficult to decipher what he's saying. The other players do OK with what they have to work with, but this picture belongs to Max Records and Christopher Lloyd.I was originally going to rate the film with a 6 out of 10 because on the whole I found it quite enjoyable, but it lost a star for its rather dumb ending which could perhaps be explained by its supernatural overtones, but it was silly and ridiculous and the end result was something that was more funny than scary. It has some interesting elements, but it also has a lot working against it resulting in a split-decision verdict from this reviewer.


I didn't expect much from this movie from watching the trailer. But there are surprises, twists and tension in this movie. It has its creepy moments but it isn't exactly a horror movie. I think the comparisons to Donnie Drako are justified. It does feel like a classical movie. And you do get to feel for the characters. We enjoyed this.


I was actually pleasantly surprised by this little indie horror/ thriller/offbeat combo. At first very cynical that this was a plot and a character that I was going to hate, I found myself hooked by both the plot and the character by the time the move resolves.Our "hero" is a teenage sociopath. His father left when he was young and he lives with his mom and (I think) her lesbian lover (never clear) in their family funeral parlor. All of it has combined to make him an emotionless weird kid, picked on at school and mostly isolated. When we first meet him, I was sure he would annoy the heck out of me. He's basically a ripoff of Dexter, right down to a code of rules he follows to make sure that he "stays good". He's obsessed with serial killers, mouths off to bullies, and mostly has all the traits that Hollywood loves to imbue in the weird kid role in their movies.His proximity to death, in the funeral parlor, brings him very close to a series of local murders, which begin to entangle the hero more and more. We meet Christopher Lloyd, his neighbor, who first seems like the nice old guy next door, but we start realizing that he may have quite a lot to do with the deaths in the town and, even more, may be more than meets the eye. From there, the movie takes a good turn, slowing developing a tense, tight plot line that ratchets up the suspense and deftly introduces many elements. At its' very core, it's a thriller, with twists and turns and plenty of suspense. There is a lot of horror, as well, with violent, grisly murders. There is an offbeat sense of humor to the whole movie, especially from our teenage hero. We even get some magic realism, or modern folklore, as the real truth of what the murderer really is plays with many aspects of old folklore.This movie could have been a disaster in the wrong hands. The kid could have come off as completely annoying. The low budget effects may have thrown everything off the rails. The odd sense of playful gallows humor could have prevented the movie from gathering any suspense. But this is one of those rare indie films that gets most everything right. Is it ground breaking? No, certainly not, but it's an entertaining movie that will appease horror fans and anyone looking for something a little different.