I Am Not a Serial Killer ***Dir: Billy O’Brien. With: Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Karl Geary. 104 mins. Cert: 15
The steady passage of filmmakers from Ireland to the US continues. This time, it’s Billy O’Brien – writer-director of 2005’s impressively straight-faced Frankencattle horror Isolation – going west, adapting Dan Wells’ young-adult novel into a pleasingly macabre study of a mixed-up teen who could be another Dexter-in-waiting. While touring crime scenes on his BMX, lank-haired mortician’s son John (Max Records, the kid from Where the Wild Things Are) becomes convinced his doddering neighbour (Christopher Lloyd) poses an even greater threat to public safety than he does; alas, his attempts to do the right thing only occasion further, properly gruey carnage. It’s as idiosyncratically paced as it is plotted, although the occasional longueurs allow O’Brien and roving god-of-cinematography Robbie Ryan to soak in the snowy atmosphere of their dysfunctional Everytown location: the Hitchcock of Shadow of a Doubt would surely have enjoyed the odd midnight-hour chuckle here, as would the Joe Dante of The ‘Burbs.
I Am Not a Serial Killer opens in selected cinemas from today.