Taking the fascination with serial killers – and serial killer films – and then shaking things up somewhat, Killer Concept gives us something a bit different – offbeat even – to munch on as part of the Frightfest menu.

Directed by Glenn Payne and written by Casey Dillard, the film sees the pair return to the horror shindig after their previous collaboration, Driven, which showcased at the 2020 event.

Both Payne and Dillard are also in front of the camera this time round, with Mark (Payne), Holly (Dillard) and Seth (Coley Bryant) starring as three wannabe horror film makers, each with their very own take on what represents a good genre film.

While producer Seth wants a classic slasher, complete with plenty of gore and nudity, Holly is keen to see the female perspective given more of an airing and Mark, well he’s just pretty quiet really.

Seth’s overall idea is a pretty radical one though – what about making a slasher movie based on a real-life serial killer, but while that serial killer is still active and (supposedly) out there somewhere? On they plough, but there may be something of a snag – one of the three may actually turn out to be the killer…

Reading back over my review for Driven, it is amazing about how my thoughts for Killer Concept follow a similar pattern. A fresh take on things, with a healthy dose of (often sarcastic) humour thrown in for good measure, and then managing to overcome some very obvious limitations through sheer verve.

The major limitation comes via the budget – $900 if stories are to be believed – but Payne and company keep things ticking over, using simple locations and stripped-down storytelling to hide the cost pretty convincingly.

It’s a side to the filmmaking process that we have rarely seen before, and Killer Concept cleverly combines the behind the scenes bickering and planning with imagined filmed scenes, meaning the audience gets the best of both worlds.

Once again the humour took me a little while to get into – it sets out to be quirky and delivers in spades – and I’m sure there are Frightfest viewers out there who just will not find this their cup of tea.

But Payne and Dillard have conjured up another outing that scores high on the originality charts and it will be fascinating to see what they could do if somebody chucked a healthy budget their way.

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Killer Concept
3.0Overall Score
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About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle