YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER is the latest film from writer/director Brett Simmons (Animal) and centers around a group of counselors being slaughtered by a mysterious killer while at summer camp. The film stars Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Brittany S. Hall (Ballers). The film just saw its World Premiere at Fantastic Fest on September 21.
Sam (Fran Kranz) is the head counselor at a camp that his family has owned and operated for years. However, summer camp doesn’t start off well when Sam finds himself covered in blood after being chased through the woods by a masked killer. Instead of contacting the police, like one would do, he ends up calling his friend Chuck (Alyson Hannigan) in hopes that she will be able to help him through the chaos unfolding. As the story evolves in a non-linear fashion, secrets are exposed that flip the slasher genre narrative on its head allowing for a unique, albeit bloody, tale to emerge.
I’ve been a fan of Fran Kranz ever since I saw him in Cabin in the Woods, a movie that I absolutely adore, so when the opportunity came to watch him in his latest film, I jumped at the chance. YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER is an interesting little flick that takes a supremely overused subgenre and gives it a fresh paint of coat. As someone who isn’t exactly the biggest fan of slasher films, it was refreshing to have a director take this subgenre on with a whole new perspective. Not only did this result in a completely different narrative than what we are used to, it also was a film that was self aware of what it was doing but not in a way that came across as pretentious.
In a movie such as this, the story needs to be solid in its execution, and I’m happy to say that Brett Simmons accomplished that. I was able to follow along with the non-linear narrative perfectly fine once I got used to how the film was presenting itself. I also thought the use of title cards, which indicated the amount of counselors that had died, along with the accompanying flashbacks, was an added bonus that helped bring the story full circle. Even though the film takes place now, the way that it was edited almost gave it an ‘80’s/’90’s feel which I really enjoyed. Those of us who miss the good ole’ days of video rental stores will be elated to see that a portion of the movie takes place inside of one as this is where Chuck works. Because she’s so tapped into movies, especially those of the horror persuasion, she is able to use her knowledge of slashers to help navigate Sam through the hell of a pickle he’s found himself in.
My only gripe with this film was that I felt at times it lingered for too long. After awhile you understand clearly what’s happening and though we end up getting the full backstory, I just felt like it dragged on for too long. This could be me just tired of the slasher genre in general, but once the jig was up, I was ready for the movie to come to an end. I will point out that the stereotypical character tropes are actually quite hilarious as they aren’t as exaggerated as we have come to expect from slashers. Of course we have our virgin, jock, etc., but instead of them fully embodying these characteristics without question, they added more of their own personality to the objectifiable traits they were given.
Overall, YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER is a fun, campy slasher that is packed with surprises and a much needed shift in storytelling for this particular subgenre. Both Fran Kranz and Alyson Hannigan are superb and do a brilliant job of carrying the movie and keeping us entertained throughout its duration. Those who love gore will have a blast with this movie as it is filled to the brim with blood, decapitation, missing limbs and more. Fans of movies such as Evil Dead and The Cabin in the Woods will most definitely want to keep this movie on their radar.