I Am Not a Serial Killer Is the Indie-Horror Cure for Your Summer-Blockbuster Fever

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When big-budget summer-movie burnout sets in, it’s good to cleanse the palate with something small, and better yet, something scary. Enter I Am Not a Serial Killer, based on the novel of the same name by Dan Wells. It’s about a malcontent 16-year-old who is not, in fact, a serial killer, but who shares an uncomfortable amount of traits with the standard psychological profile for one. Max Records (remember him from Where the Wild Things Are?) stars as John Wayne Cleaver, a Midwestern boy who works in a funeral home and has a larger-than-usual fixation with death. He has fantasies about killing people himself, but when a real serial murderer starts stalking through his town, he has to shift into protector mode to keep those around him safe. But of course, he’ll also have to “unleash his darkest inner demons” along the way. The movie was received well when it opened at SXSW earlier this year, and it features a kooky looking turn from Christopher Lloyd as Cleaver’s kindly neighbor. At least we think he’s kindly — never assume in a horror movie.