Starring Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Karl Geary and James Gaulke.
Written by Billy O'Brien & Christopher Hyde.
Directed by Billy O'Brien.
This movie is based on a book by Dan Wells, and it is told in first person. The teenage protagonist John Wayne Cleaver is in his own head a lot. So how to translate that to the big-screen?
Rather than rely on voice-over narration, the movie relies on the expressive face of Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are), and it works.
John is a kid who's already been diagnosed with sociopathic tendencies, so he already has a strict code of conduct. He's like a teenage Dexter who's decided he never wants to actually kill anyone. But in his small town of Clayton, MN, someone is killing people, and he does his own amateur sleuthing to figure out who. John's suspicions eventually fall on his neighbor Mr. Crowley (Christopher Lloyd), whom John believes isn't as old and frail as he appears.
This movie benefits from being shot on location. This looks like an actual small town as opposed to strategically shot L.A. suburbs, and therefore the lived-in aspect makes the sinister invasion of a killer in their town more felt.
Records and Lloyd play well off each other, and the subtle chills throughout the movie keep it engaging. The only time the low budget hurts it is the ending, but I don't want to give anything away as to specifically why.