It’s been a hot minute since we last saw Max Records. The “Where The Wild Things Are” star has kept a low profile since 2011’s unfortunately bland “The Sitter,” and it seemed like the child star might’ve given up on the whole acting thing. But that’s not the case. Rather, like several growing child stars before him, he’s gone the dark indie route, returning in the SXSW standout “I Am Not A Serial Killer.” And if the first trailer is a proper indication, he’s really getting his hands dirty in the second phase of his career.
Based on Dan Wells’ novel of the same name, the newest film from co-writer/director Billy O’Brien follows John Cleaver (Records), a dangerous 16-year-old obsessed with serial killers, even if he doesn’t want to become one himself. In order to keep himself and his neighbors safe, John lives by rigid rules of being “good” and “normal.” But when a true monster (Christopher Lloyd) creeps his way into town, John has to let his dark side out to save his fellow citizens.
This is the kind of trailer I absolutely love: moody and bleak enough to make an impression, but one that also doesn’t dispel too much information in the process. It’s a nice balance of eerie and morbidly inviting, which helps instantly get you into the twisted mindset of its central protagonist. Although we missed it at SXSW this year, reviews praised the film, particularly Records’ performance and O’Brien’s unconventional approach. Hopefully we feel the same way when the film comes out in limited release on August 26th. Before then, it will screen at the Fantasia Film Festival. This looks like the kind of chilly, low-key thriller that’s perfect for inviting the cold of autumn. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for it.