Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Spook Out! Day 27 ~ A Serial Killer's Guide to Life (2019)

IMDb Says...
"A self-help addict unwittingly finds herself on a killing spree with her unhinged life coach."

I Say...
"Unhinged" or "Justifiably Put Out?" I can't quite decide...

Horror Type...
Serial Killers, Black Comedy

Main Players...
Katie Brayben as Lou Farnt (Doormat)
Poppy Roe as Val Stone (Stylish Killer)
Ben Lloyd-Hughes as Chuck Knoah (Smug Guru)

I liked...
  • the contrasting color and wardrobe choices that revealed so much about Lou and Val's characters
  • how masterfully Roe (the striking, forbiddingly fashionable Siouxsie Sioux of serial killers) and Brayben (the mousey, no presence wannabe self-help seeker) embody their roles
  • the dark, dry British wit
  • seeing the ironic rise of the meek, even if it was a bit murder-y
  • the great pacing with no waste, just one hour and twenty minutes of fine storytelling
  • that some of the ridiculous "self-help therapies" were good for a snort or two
  • how some characters repeated their self-help courses (bc they clearly didn't help, bc they're bunkum)

The Meh...
  • This one's spoilery, click/highlight the text between the double red colons to read :: One stop on the self-help tour was with a couple promoting self-realization through sound therapy. Lou and Val spent the night with them and learned that the wine they shared with the gurus had been doped with some sort of "herbal relaxer"--after which you see the screen go kind of fuzzy and the female of the pair dancing around with a dildo, the implication clearly that the couple intended to sexually violate their clients ::
  • Something happens here that always gets up my nose: they've got non-Americans playing Americans but there's something off about the accent that utterly smashes one's suspension of disbelief. One of the most telling words is "anything." Someone with a "standard" US accent would pronounce it "EHN-ee-thing," whereas the "standard" British pronunciation treats the "y" differently: "EHN-uh-thing." One of the gurus falls into this error and it just took me right out of the movie, at a critical juncture. ("Standard" bc there're regional differences in both countries, obvs.)

Would I recommend it...?
Yes, but with managed expectations. It's not really a horror movie (Amazon's Showtime channel categorized it as such, which is how I came across it) and it's not really LOL comedy, more like a "I watched the entire thing with an amused smirk and snorted a bunch of times, but it was a little sick here and there" kinda flick. It's a worthy indie, for sure, and I am totally looking forward to more from these cats!

  • I feel there was a missed opportunity here, to have Val actually coach Lou on how to commit murder, asking her open-ended questions about how she felt she was growing through their spree, etc.. You know, play the "self-help for budding serial killers" thing straight, as it were.
  • This film was financed via a Kickstarter campaign!

My Grade: A- as a tightly knit Black Comedy, score for horror N/A
Rotten Tomatoes Scores: Tomatometer=92%, Audience Score=58%

Details, Schmeetails...
I Watched A Serial Killer's Guide to Life on Amazon (the Rotten Tomatoes page linked above provides links to other streaming platforms)

There doesn't seem to be Wikipedia page for the movie, so I'll link some articles about it here (Beware, Thar Be Spoilers!):

This concludes Day 27 of

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow...



  1. I'll pass. I like the concept, but it doesn't sound worth trying to remember to cancel my free trial of Showtime. Hahahahahahaha.

    1. It's only 99 cents to rent! (And TOTALLY worth it!) (What's with you not being able to remember to cancel free trials, you're such a together gal!)

    2. My sense of time has gone out the window, and not just since 2020's madness began. I have to put things on my calendsr and hope I'll react when I see the notification. I check my calendar every morning to see if there's anything coming up. Sad but true. I feel like I'm losing it even more now, thus my resorting to a physical notebook to track my daily activity. So far, it's not doing what I want; but I think if I make it a habit, it'll help.

    3. I feel you, girl. I find I do better when I write things down, too (and I think science backs that up). But you're right--forming the habit helps the most. I wish you well with it all! 💜


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