Killer by Nature (2010)
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"Killer by Nature" is an absurd, predictable and flawed thriller that has a terrible screenplay and acting. The story would be interesting with a better direction, cast and the most important, a higher budget. There are only a few characters; therefore it is not difficult to guess who might be the real killer. In times where forensic investigations have accurate perception of the crime scene, inclusive using DNA, it is ridiculous that Owen is not submitted to blood and DNA tests to know whether he is responsible or not for the deaths. The state prison looks like a mall or supermarket, where anyone can access and talk to a criminal in the death row. How could a famous psychotherapist be known by two different names The position of Leona, who does not believe in her son, seems to be a soap-opera instead of a deep family drama. Ron Perlman is a good actor for action movies, but never convinces as a psychotherapist. The unknown Haley Hudson is a promising actress, with her sweet face and I found her character fascinating. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Vocação Assassina" ("Assassin Vocation")
Owen (Zachary Ray Sherman) is a teenage boy being plagued by vivid nightmares that usually involve random sleepwalks. They always seem to feature a young woman being drowned in a bathtub and then out comes the power-saw. Before too long the murders get closer to home and Owen soon becomes the prime suspect. His usual quack (Svetlana Efremova) brings in a different quack (Ron Perlman) and all of a sudden the sh*t hits the fan. Armand Assante portrays a cold-blooded killer on death row. You'll be speculating about the significance of his character for the first half of the film. Horror veteran Lin Shaye is on the ball as Owen's long- suffering mother, desperate to cure, or at least understand her sons bizarre sleeping disorder.
They do a good job of making you suspect everyone. Is Owen the killer? Could it be his geeky, yet sexy girlfriend? Could it be his mother? Surely Hellboy wouldn't be the killer? And how could Armand possibly get out of his cell every night?
Zachary Ray Sherman has the potential to make it as an A-list actor, although some of his lines do feel forced and tacky. It's hard to tell if it's his fault or the writers. He shares a scene with Armand that is certainly a highlight and both actors were in good form that day.
To sum up... Ron, Armand and Lin are doing their very best to make this low-budget chiller watchable. Haley Hudson plays Owen's weirdly attractive love interest. Her character is quite fascinating to watch, even though she seems to randomly fluctuate between virginal and sultry. Watch this face.
If you're in the mood for a thriller and it's slim pickings at your local video store, you could do a lot worse than Killer By Nature.
Check out my IMDb List for some better suggestions. "HORROR/THRILLER: Obscure, Overlooked & Underrated" http://www.imdb.com/list/8QFZ78e4Ar8/
Perlman and Assante give the film a certain pedigree, but the movie's young stars carry the water and make you invest emotionally in the outcome. The surrounding cast cement the picture as a solid psychological thriller, though it failed to rise to the horror genre that it seems to have been marketed as. Better as a thriller I believe, as it is much deeper than the typical slasher film it may sound like.
The level of sophistication and depth may disappoint those programmed by the artwork to expect a brain dead teen horror, but I'm glad I allowed the setups to mature into the impressive little thriller I experienced.