The Slasher marathon continues with this newer movie that I stumbled on while checking out what was available on Shudder. I noticed Alyson Hannigan from Buffy was in it, so I decided to take a look. It also claimed to be a different kind of slasher movie which also interested me. Did it live up to the description?
The movie wastes no time in showing us a bloody man running thru the woods fleeing from someone. He reaches a cabin and calls his friend Chuck (played by Hannigan) and we find out his name is Sam. It seems that Sam is running from a killer who has murdered most of the other camp counselors and is now chasing him. Chuck is an expert in all things horror movies and immediately asks him the question that most fans would. Have you called the cops? Well it turns out that the camp is off the grid and the call to the sheriff went to voicemail. That means no help is coming.
Chuck starts to talk Sam thru what happened and after some insightful questions it is quickly determined that he is the killer. How does that work? It seems that there is an evil mask that possesses him and makes him kill! This is explained in a pre-slaughter flashback where Sam tells the counselors the legend of the woodcarver and the haunted tree. Get used to the flashbacks because the entire movie is told in them and is revealed out of order. The tropes of the slasher genre are followed with a few twists and turns along the way. Eventually it is Sam the killer vs. the final girl Jamie. Do we get the expected ending where the virginal last girl standing does away with the killer? Watch the movie to find out.
You Might be the Killer is a great movie, one of the best I’ve seen in the last couple of years. The director and writers take the familiar slasher genre and with a few creative twists make it their own. Normally I hate knowing who the killer is but here that doesn’t bother me. Ironically since the movie is told out of order with Sam trying to remember what happened we don’t know who he has killed yet, so that is the mystery. Plus, there is the whole why he is killing people question to be asked. I guess I sort of spoiled that… my bad. Regardless I found myself glued to the screen as I watched Sam and Chuck try to work out what the heck was going on and if there was a way for him to survive it.
The cast is great with Hannigan being the most recognizable face. That said I kept feeling like I knew the actor who played Sam, Fran Kranz, from something. Turns out he was the stoner in Cabin in the Woods (another great movie!). The two of them have good chemistry though they never appear together onscreen. Hannigan only appears in one location and is talking to Sam on the phone from there. This is likely the case of only having her on set for a couple of days and recording her stuff there. She is noticeably never on screen with any of the main cast. Normally I’d call this stunt casting but here she is on screen a lot and is so good that it didn’t bother me. Plus the movie is edited together so well that if you weren’t paying attention to that sort of thing you would probably never notice.
The kills in the movie are also very satisfying. There are guts stabbed, a throat slashed, someone gets hung up and gutted, arms and heads get chopped off, and finally we have a nifty split head. Toss in the fact that most if not all of the kills are accomplished with practical effects work (I couldn’t find an obvious CGI gag at all) to make this an even more impressive independent slasher flick. I couldn’t be any happier with what I just watched.
Clearly, I’m recommending that everyone check this movie out. It is available on Shudder and if you aren’t a subscriber then you should do that right away. The service is great and keeps finding lesser known horror movies like this to stream. The ending of You Might be the Killer teases a sequel and by God I want one!
© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer