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Brendan Guy Murphy
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Straps you in and takes you on a bloody journey with Lou and Val
Had the pleasure of viewing A Serial Killers Guide to Life and Grimmfest this year followed by a Q&A with its director and it's certainly been a film to make a lasting impression.
At first it was near impossible not to see A Serial Killers Guide as the cousin to Sightseers, although the director Staten Cousins-Roe states that Sightseers is not a direct influence. But there's no denying that the films share many similarities with Ben Wheatley's black comedy among them the over bearing mother who pushes our anti-hero to the extreme, the jet black humour even the locations are familiar (although the film was shot around Sussex as opposed to Yorkshire).
But the question is despite the similarities does A Serial Killers Guide stand on it's? And the answer is yes, this is largely down to an excellent cast, leads Katie Brayben as the ditsy and emotionally fragile Lou and Poppy Roe as the cold and unpredictable Val both have such a strong on screen chemistry that I never found the absurdity of the film a distraction but instead a benefit. Val Roe in particular stands out as she is given so much room to be a performer acting with her eyes, mouth, body language and she really seized her chance to show what she can do. The supporting cast are also spot on with reliable character actors such as Sian Clifford, Ben Lloyd Hughes, Tomiwa Edun and the always excellent Sinead Matthews all giving the assured performances we know they are more than capable of doing, even the extras in the laughing therapy scene all did great. This is in no doubt helped by writer and director Staten Cousins Roe being an actor himself.
A Serial Killers Guide to Life may not be anything new but it's a film which stands on it's own two feet and takes you on a bloody journey accompanied by the dysfunctional but always engrossing Lou and Val.
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