Brett Simmons’ You Might Be the Killer is a mishmash of horror tropes thrown together to create a giant wink to horror fans.
Sam (Fran Kranz) wants to get away from it all, so he heads up to his family’s property to oversee a motley and attractive crew of counselors at Camp Clear Vista. He realizes he’s in trouble when he finds himself covered in blood and running through the forest. Unsure of how he got to this point he makes a frantic call to his friend, Chuck (Buffy the Vampire Slayer royalty Alyson Hannigan), who works in a comic book store and who just happens to be a horror aficionado. With her help, he retraces his steps to figure out what happened to his friends, and whether, you guessed it, he might be the killer.
I’ve said before that I don’t like horror comedies, so I’ll let you know right now, I’m biased. It’s very difficult to keep things funny with consistent pacing, tone, and performances, especially when the action is peppered with horror. In this case, I stand firm with my convictions. You Might Be the Killer was an attempt to be funny and self-referential for horror fans, but to me, it was just a flat list of horror tropes akin to perhaps a drinking game. The story came from a Twitter thread created by writers Chuck Wendig and Sam Sykes, who were approached by producer and writer Thomas Vitale and Shudder G.M. Craig Engler to create a film. That’s the stuff dreams are made of, so more power to Wendig and Sykes for coming up with an idea that movie execs wanted to run with, but I’m guessing the movie machine ate some of the original magic that attracted them in the first place.
Kranz, who starred in the quintessential horror trope nod, The Cabin in the Woods, was perhaps the only sincere performance in the film. Even the always pleasing Hannigan seemed to literally be phoning it in. There were some cute moments, but overall, the film was far too broad, and I felt at one point it could better serve as an interactive stage play with its over the top physicality and splatter count.
If you’re up for some goofy slasher antics, then consider checking You Might Be the Killer out.