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Review: YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER is an extremely fun Whedon-esque horror-comedy

Sean Patrick Kelly
Review: YOU MIGHT BE THE KILLER is an extremely fun Whedon-esque horror-comedy

While Kevin Smith has the distinction for creating Tusk from one of his podcasts, You Might Be the Killer, now streaming on Shudder, is probably the first horror-comedy to be born from a Twitter coversation. Indeed, it was a Twitter exchange in the summer of 2017 between best-selling writers Chuck Wendig (Star Wars novels, Marvel’s Hyperion) and Sam Sykes (Aeons’ Gate Trilogy) that planted the seeds for this film co-written and directed by Brett Simmons (HuskThe Monkeys Paw).

Probably the biggest selling point of You Might Be the Killer is the (quite coincidental) casting of Joss Whedon alumni Fran Kranz (DollhouseCabin in the Woods) and Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in the lead roles. Utilyzing a non-linear narrative, You Might Be the Killer kicks off in the climax of a typical slasher film plot, with summer camp head honcho Sam (Kranz) surrounded by the bodies of dead counsellors and he frantically calls his best friend Chuck (Hannigan), a horror film expert working in a comic store, to utilize her knowledge to help Sam get out of the camp alive. However, as Sam begins to break down the events of the night, Chuck begins to wonder if Sam himself is the machete wielding killer.

It isn't too much of a spoiler to say that You Might Be the Killer doesn't spend too long on the identity of the killer, as it is revealed within the first act. However, that doesn't stop the film from being a fun to watch meta breakdown of a typical slasher film plot. Brett Simmons cleverly utlilizes on on-screen death count to help to audience keep track on where the story is chronologically, as both Sam and Chuck try to piece together the events of the night. They also try to decypher who among the councellors, which includes Sam's ex-girlfriend Imani (Brittany S. Hall) and newcomer Jamie (Jenna Harvey), are still among the living. However, one counsellor for sure out of the picture is Steve 'The Kayak King' (Bryan Price), whose early demise becomes a recurring gag that's revisted in many of the film's flashbacks.

With the involvement of Fran Kranz, it is almost natural to compare You Might Be the Killer to Kran's earlier work in The Cabin in the Woods. However, the biggest difference between the two is that You Might Be the Killer doesn't really feel the need to constantly wink towards the camera. For the most part, the plot of the film is played out as a straight 1980s-influenced slasher film narrative, complete with some very creative and gory kills, with most of the comedy coming from Sam's reactions and his conversations with Chuck.

While Joss Whedon doesn't have any direct involvement with You Might Be the Killer, with the casting of Fran Kranz and Alyson Hannigan, it's hard not to call the film Whedon-esque and it is indeed one of the most enjoyable horror comedies of the year.

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Alyson HanniganFran KranzHorror-ComedymetaShudderSlasherYou Might Be the Killer

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