Title: A Horrible Way To Die
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg
Running time: 87 minutes, Rated R, available on standard DVD
Serial killer Garrick Turrell has escaped from prison and is continuing on a killing spree leading towards his ex-girlfriend Sarah who had turned him in. Sarah is a recovering alcoholic who is trying to get her life back on track when she meets Kevin, a guy who attends the same AA meetings with her. In order to open herself up to this new man in her life, she must let go of her past which is constantly haunting her.
The only problem I had with this film is the hand-held shaky cam. I realize that the director was probably trying to give the feeling of chaotic emotion, but it was so damn annoying, especially at the one hour mark. The story and the characters were intriguing; AJ Bowen was fantastic casting as Garrick, the deep and emotionally troubled serial killer with a sensitive caring side. Amy Seimetz as Sarah was equally great. Her scenes with both AJ Bowen and Joe Swanberg had wonderful realism and great chemistry. The switching from past to present is a big complaint from many people I know, but I thought the editing was excellent.
The DVD extras include a short behind the scenes segment and a commentary by Director/Editor Adam Wingard and Writer/Producer Simon Barrett. I liked how casual they were when discussing some heavy moments in the film and had a laugh at Swanberg during the sex scene.
I can’t say much more about this film without giving away the ending. Calling it an intense thriller is an understatement. I think I liked this film because the filmmakers proved they weren’t afraid to take risks. There is some blood and gore, but not excessive. The audience is more exposed to the aftermath of the murders rather than the actual violent act; with exception to the opening scene. Because of the severe subject matter, it’s not going to appeal to everyone. I do recommend this film to anyone willing to take the chance.
Total rating: A
Reviewed by JM Willis