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Serial Slayer
Serial Slayer
Actors: Melanie Lynskey, Sheeri Rappaport, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Will Collyer, Judith O'Dea
Director: Mark Tapio Kines
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 19min


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Movie Details

Actors: Melanie Lynskey, Sheeri Rappaport, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Will Collyer, Judith O'Dea
Director: Mark Tapio Kines
Creators: Marc Wade, Bevan Crothers, Mark Tapio Kines, Julia Stemock
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/14/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 19min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Don't Judge A Movie By Its Cover
MovieFreak118 | NJ | 02/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I was walking in the video store and I came across this film. I thought wow this sure does look stupid, by just looking at the cover. Well I decided to read the back, just to see what is was about. It sounded great! I also noticed Melanie Lynskey in it and she is a great actress. So I rented it and put it in my dvd player. The Camera work was okay even though it was shot on dvr. The plot of how the girls all came together in a house the one girl is watching sounded kind of corny. But then the movie got better! The ending was great. Maybe a sequel is in process? It is one of the greatest most original thrillers I have ever seen! I Loved It!"
Don't judge a book...
J. Baxter | Seattle, WA | 01/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is very important to note that the original title of this film was "Claustrophobia". Due to what I'm sure is the "genius" of marketing, the title was changed to the misleading "Serial Slayer" (for the American release, at least). While the film does have a mysterious antagonist who "slays" in a "serial" fashion, the new title deceives viewers into thinking they are about to watch a teenage slasher film. The original title did a much better job connoting the slow, quiet terror that the film actually imparts.

Three female colleagues, who are otherwise strangers, decide to have a slumber party as a bonding exercise. The actors do a fantastic job conveying the comical awkwardness that such an event presents, right down to the conversation steering toward office matters. Immediately, the script gives us a clear picture as to who each character is. Melanie Lynskey is especially capable as the quiet, well-meaning one who just wants everyone to have a good time. She conveys a plethora of emotions in one short close-up. Mary Lynn Raskjub (from TV's Mr. Show!) is first-rate as the awkward, nerdy one who only came to the party to be nice. And Sheeri Rappaport is excellent as the harsh one who always says exactly what's on her mind.

Our protagonists do not have much time to break the ice before they start hearing strange noises on the roof. Is it the psycho who the news informs them has been killing people with a cross bow in broad daylight? Or is it some jerk from their office playing a cruel trick on them? Writer/director Mark Tapio Kines masterfully unravels the plot bit by bit, with the deftness of Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby". Even though the news reporters confirm the existence of a killer on the loose, both the views and the characters second guess the legitimacy of
their fear. After all, it is broad daylight in their quiet, suburban neighborhood. Surely someone would have called the police if they were in any real danger!

If you are after a film with a high body count and gallons of spilled blood, this movie is probably not for you. However, if you are partial to interesting characters and a psychologically terrifying script, please check out "Claustrophobia"."
Just So Much Nonsense with Misguided Ideas about Thriller
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 09/13/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"WOW! Look at the DVD cover! What a face! And the film is called `Serial Slayer' not `Serial Killer'! But this cover is far from honest; the story does not take place at night; the house of the film does not look like that at all; and most of all, my experience tells me that it is not a good sign if you watch a film named `Serial Killer' and find that it actually has an alternate title `Claustrophobia.'

Instead of introducing the film's silly story, I would like to ask you a simple question: What would you do if you find some stranger is walking on the rooftop of your house? What are you supposed to do if you notice the sound of the steps coming from the roof? Choose one from below:

A) Lock all the doors and windows, and call the police.
B) Get out of the house immediately.
C) Prepare to fight back.

My choice is A, but B is also a pretty good idea. Apparently the filmmakers think differently, though. The three women played by Melanie Lynskey, Sheeri Rappaport, and Mary Lynn Rajskub keep doing ridiculous things during the film's short running time. THEY CANNOT CALL because they don't have a cell phone, and they are living in this millennium. THEY CANNOT ESCAPE FROM THE HOUSE because the supposed serial killer, who can climb up and down the house so quick, has a deadly weapon - crossbow - even though as another reviewer points out, it is highly unlikely that you hit or kill someone with this thing (which really look like a toy).

Some say the film is trying not to use the clichéd ideas about the horror film, and make a new set of rules about it. But doing and saying the silliest things when hunted by a serial killer is already a clichéd storytelling technique, and so are the ideas like the dead cell phones, a disconnected telephone line, a geeky girl wearing glasses, and this is the worst, hiding in the closet.

To me, however, the film's worst part is its camera. It is shot in video, almost always held by hand, but the video image makes the film look very cheap and amateurish. The killer appears in broad daylight (another twist in the plot), but the visuals of a shaky hand-held camera shot during the daytime is hardly appropriate for creating the creepy touch, making every image too bright, looking like that of your home video unit.

And that is what `Serial Slayer' exactly is. It looks like a work done by film school student. The only difference is that its stars Melanie Lynskey. She is too good for this nonsense."
No budget horror movie
sinisterfiend666 | the master of Horror | 04/17/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"J.Baxter is on crack for giving this 5 stars (or he had something to do with the making of this movie) This was bad. Unfortunately enough, there are worse movies than this. However, this one will still not escape my one star vote. First, it is very generic. Like the one reviewer said, this resembles porn quality because it literally looks like a home video. Next it is slow and ridiculous. Not much going on for at least 30-40 minutes. It is ridiculous because the concept is laughable and let me explain why: first we have a guy with a miniature crossbow holding a house full of woman at bay. Let me explain something to you all: I used to own this very crossbow used in this movie. I bought it at a local swap meat in Vegas. It cost me ten bucks. I went out to the desert to shoot at some stuff and the thing was pathetic. First off, the range is terrible. You would never hit or kill anything further than 30 feet away. Next, the aim is god awful. You couldn't hit Kirstie Alley with this thing. Yet in this movie, there are scenes where he is nailing people dead on from a rooftop. NO WAY this is possible with this type of crossbow. Finally, These miniature crossbows don't nearly have the same pounds of pressure a normal bow or crossbow have. When I owned mine, I was shooting at tin cans in the desert. Occasionally when I would shoot at a can, the arrows would ricochet off of it because they weren't powerfull enough to pierce it. Sometimes the arrows would break easily when I shot them. My point is, I find it very hard to believe after owning one of these crossbows that you could kill someone with them like in this movie unless you hit the square in the eye or something. You seriously could shoot someone with about 20 of these arrows and they would live. As a matter of fact, shooting someone with these kind of arrows would probably make them really mad and chase you down. These types of crossbows also take a few seconds to reload. In the movie he quickly shoots someone 3 times with one. Anyway, enough about the crossbow. It is not a low budget movie, it is a NO budget movie with bad actresses, hardly any blood, and it certainly wasn't suspenseful at all for me. It sort of reminded me of one of those British sitcoms you see late at night on the BBC. I kept waiting for Benny Hill to pop out or something"