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  • ThrownMuse1 February 2005
    Lauren (Melanie Lynskey) is house sitting in a quiet, wealthy neighborhood and decides to throw a slumber party for her officemates. Unfortunately, only two show up: her spunky friend, Gina (Sheeri Rappaport), and the quiet new girl, Grace (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Could the lack of party guests be due to the well-known fact that there is a crossbow-wielding rooftop-loitering serial killer on the loose in the area? Unfortunately, they spend too much time discussing this, and they hear footsteps coming from above.

    This film has finally received a DVD release in the US. The title change was changed from the appropriate Claustrophobia to the misleading Serial Slayer. The packaging, which features an evil Vin Diesel lookalike with a crossbow standing by a dark and creepy house, is also misleading. This film is actually an attempted subverison of the slasher genre. The terror is mostly psychological and not the type you would see in an ordinary slasher: the film takes place entirely during the day, there are only a few characters in an enclosed space, the perspective of the killer is never shown, and there is little on-screen violence and gore. Unfortunately, this interesting concept is poorly executed. The film obviously was made in a short period time on little-to-no budget, so it is understandable, but it is hardly an effective thriller.

    The main problem with Serial Slayer is the unbelievable plot. A rooftop serial killer who draws his victims out of their homes so he can shoot them with a crossbow is a great premise. Having a slasher film set during the day, so that the killer cannot lurk in the darkness, is also a neat idea. Combining these two concepts does not work, at least in the context that is set up in this story. According to a radio announcement at the beginning of the film, this serial killer has already claimed a handful of victims. So it makes sense that the neighborhood is a little empty, as most people would probably go elsewhere until the killer is caught. However, apparently nobody drives through this neighborhood (including cops, who should probably be patroling the area), because nobody notices a guy on the roof in broad daylight.

    But more importantly, why the hell would you have a slumber party in an area where everyone knows there is a killer on the loose? Early-on, there are some funny conversations (I'm assuming this is why it is listed as a "comedy" on IMDb--but this is no horror/comedy!) between the girls about serial killer hysteria and the chances of being a victim, which would be acceptable in any other context, but it just sounds ridiculous here. They also discuss how the past victims were all killed outside of their homes, which apparently brings them a sense of safety...even though none of the windows are locked, these women seem 100% convinced that the murderer is not going to break-in and kill them. There are several laughable instances where the characters try to draw the attention of the neighbors that make absolutely no sense. If you can get past some of these ridiculous premises, then some scenes in this movie could probably be really suspenseful.

    The acting in Serial Slayer is unfortunate. All three lead women have proved in the past that they are damn fine actresses. Probably due to lack of time, good direction, and horrible dialogue, their performances here are really low-key and their fear is not at all believable. Some of the interactions between the characters are amusing and you wish the film would become the character piece that it is so obviously striving to be.

    Another huge problem with the movie is the ending. After watching the film, I skipped around the director's commentary and was shocked that I completely misinterpreted the ending. Sadly, the way I saw the ending was much more exciting and made much more sense than what the ending actually turned out to be. It isn't meant to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, it is just poorly done.

    On a side note, the movie also features a small "comeback" performance by Judith O'Dea (Barbara in the original Night of the Living Dead), but it is nothing to write home about. As I said before, this movie is extremely low-budget (made with hand-held digital video) and I'm sure the cast and crew worked extremely hard to get it done in time, so I hate to rag on it. It has a cool concept and a little bit of suspense, if you can get past the non-sensical behavior of the lead characters. But it is really not a well made film. Rent Slumber Party Massacre instead.

    My Rating: 2.5/10
  • There is no word terrible enough to describe this movie. Every single solitary aspect of it was pitiful and completely senseless. The acting was of the worst of I've ever seen, the directing was the official worst I've seen and don't even get me started on the script writers. On the cover of the DVD case I got out I read one review that said "The best straight to video movie of the year" well for the sake of movie lovers everywhere I severely, severely hope this was not the case. I mean you can't tell me NONE of these obviously middle class, decent job occupying, love to talk women have a cell phone. I honestly reckon I could sit here for around 3 hours typing up problems with this movie movie but I won't bother because it wasn't worth it. All I'll say is please, please for future movies sake DO NOT GET THIS FILM OUT!!!
  • I don't know from where to start: the film is amateurish. The acting is terrible, the plot is poor even the usage of camera is childish. A serial killer using arrows to kill his victims... The making of the film took less than two days, the script took less than three days I think. If it took more then something is wrong with the cast. No I did not like this film at all it's more bad than ''Decoys'' or ''quiet kill''. It is a surprise to me that 61 people voted for it and it has an average rating of 5. I suppose there were some friendly votes. I cannot believe that people actually paid to watch this movie or the ''actors'' got paid to participate.
  • I don't usually write reviews, but I just saw this movie and I had to say something, after reading all the negative comments. It's not a horror movie, people! It's a "Hitchcockian" suspense movie. It's no classic, but I was entertained. Also, has anyone seen THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD? Everybody's trapped in a house there too, doing nothing but talking! And that's a classic! What more do you want? Serial Slayer doesn't have any zombies, or any flesh-eating, but it doesn't try to either. I think once you realize who the killer is, it makes sense why he does what he does, and why he's not exactly scary. This movie is commenting on a lot of issues, and it's also (intentionally) very funny at times. Grace is obviously meant to be comic relief. I think a lot of horror fans have expectations that are not going to be met. IMHO, Lion's Gate screwed the filmmaker, as people have pointed out the title and artwork are VERY misleading. But it's not fair to hate this movie just because it doesn't take place at night, or because the lighting isn't perfect. Get real, not every movie has to look the same! If this was the same as any other slasher movie, you wouldn't see so many people loving and hating it in equal measure. Fangoria gave it 3 out of 4 stars, which is what I give it. 'nuff said.
  • My expectations were pretty low for this film but I was attracted by the fact that Melanie Lynskey was in the cast. When it started it was obviously very low budget, but it was actually very tautly directed with some great scares and strong performances from the female leads.

    Horroe fans hoping for gore may be a little disappointed but there are some savage moments.

    Overall, this shouldn't have worked - the plot is thoroughly pedestrian, the budget is low and it looks like it was filmed on a home video camera. I've never found footsteps on a roof so scary!

    Ignore the low scores here and give this one a go!
  • Having enjoyed writer/director Mark Tapio Kines's debut film FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS, I was ready for something in the same vein -- haunting, sardonic, even lyrical. Fortunately these qualities are evident enough in CLAUSTROPHOBIA to confirm that it's the same creative mind at work. What the film truly delivers, however, is pure and simple paranoia -- an intelligent and very creepy thriller that inventively plays with genre conventions. All of the basic ingredients are there: a house with three cute young women trapped inside (Mary Lynn Raskjub is the most watchable for my money), a faceless killer with a signature weapon, a couple of unfortunate bystanders. It's what Kines does with the material that gives the movie its hard edge. The action plays out in real time, in the suburban neighborhood next door, and -- a counter-intuitive but surprisingly effective move -- almost entirely in daylight. The pacing favors slow terror over shocks, remorselessly closing the walls in around the characters (hence the title). There are no "rules" governing who lives or dies: as in real life, the violence is jagged, haphazard, and mutely disturbing. The surprise ending is a "banality of evil" twist worthy of Gus Van Sant's ELEPHANT or Terence Malick's BADLANDS. Altogether a fine journeyman outing from a filmmaker who gives spooky detachment a good name.
  • A crossbow killer terrifies a suburban community, and his latest targets are three co-workers house-sitting for the weekend. Lauren (Melanie Lynskey), the optimist, has invited her department from work, but only two show up: socially awkward Grace (Mary Lynn Rajskub), who's terrified of leaving her house, and outspoken Gina (Sheeri Rappaport), who expected a bigger crowd, and doesn't want to be stuck with these two all weekend. Their unease with each other soon yields to the awful possibility that they might be the serial killer's next victims, as the telltale signs of his modus operandi accumulate. This is a low-budget movie that makes good use of its "claustrophobic" production by turning a few horror conventions on its head. It substitutes bright, unfiltered daylight for night, obscuring the stalker while making his targets vulnerable; they can't escape while their every movement is visible. The women are trapped without electricity, shrouding them with natural indoor lighting and shrinking their environment even further. Ambient sound is kept to a minimum, to make room for the smallest aural clues of the killer's presence. Occasionally it's punctuated by the trampling of the stalker's feet overhead, which seems to mirror their nervous, galloping heartbeats. The three actresses play well off each other, with lots of comic interplay to relieve the tension. Grace seems thrive on nervousness, while Melanie plays the calm at the center of the storm. Sheeri's performance covers the emotional extremes. She projects her feelings of frustration, rage, and despair, and it seems as if it's on behalf of all three. She takes a confrontational approach with everyone, including the killer, and as a result, is able to discover the true face of the terror that hunts them. While "Claustrophobia" uses some of the same imagery of serial killer movies, its approach is lighter and more playful, and manages to avoid resorting to cheap exploitation, without sacrificing the sense of intimacy with the characters necessary to relate to their terrifying experience. Maybe that's because it seems its subtext is empathy: Even as their community remains ignorant of what's happening in broad daylight,the killer seems to understand their every weakness, to prey on them. Meanwhile, the "shooter" on the opposite end, the camera, seems to work against the killer's agenda, trying to avoid taking his point of view, and not allowing the three women to be reduced to mere targets. Because of this approach, we're not so much voyeurs while watching this, but participants. Sheeri Rappaport wrote of her experiences in earlier horror film, "Little Witches", of the difficulty in starring in a movie where the agenda and desires of the producer and the audience can be very different than that of the performer. `Claustrophobia' seems to offer an opportunity for all three points of view to meet on common ground. I recommend this not only as a horror film, but also as a unique take on the genre, and a good opportunity to see these actresses in a different light. Don't forget to turn the sound up!
  • Three girls, trapped in a house with a serial killer on the roof. He's armed with a crossbow, and he's out to kill them all for no apparent reason. While this summary sounds like a hundred other mediocre slasher films, this film plays a psychological game with believable characters and uses a steadily building pace to keep you tense and scared. It avoids many standard genre pitfalls, includes some wicked satire on talk radio and local television news, and overall feels smart, and, well, claustrophobic.

    Sheeri Rappaport pretty much steals the show as Gina, the boldest of the girls, although Mary Lynn Rajskub is also excellent as Grace, the graceless nerd girl who seems to be a little too up on the subject of serial killers. As an added bonus, the film features a brief appearance by Judy O'Dea, of Night of the Living Dead fame, for those of you who remember it.
  • 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".
  • OK, I admit it, I'm not a horror movie fan...but I liked this one. The reason I normally avoid the genre is that most of the films are so similar that they might as well skip the formality of having titles, and just advertise them as "A New Horror Film". This one, despite the traditional horror title, provides more of a psychological/suspense feel than what one would expect.

    There are parts of this film that fit in with the usual Horror formula-scared women trapped by their fear of a faceless killer who may or may not be stalking them...their descent into madness as the intensity builds...but there is genuine tension and little blood and guts. It is obvious that this movie was made on a shoestring budget, but the filmmakers use this to their advantage, creating a sense of reality that draws the viewer in. The shadowy rooms indoors and the incongruous bright sunlight outside add to the sense that these are real people in a real situation, rather than Hollywood actors being showcased in another one of those over-produced films we've all seen before. At times the acting isn't the best, but there are some good performances-and that's more than I can say for some big-budget horror films.

    If you are looking for a slick blood and guts slasher film, go get one of the Halloween movies. If you want to see something different that proves a filmmaker can do a lot with a minimal budget if they have talent and imagination, rent this film.
  • MrStabby20 November 2005
    Hi I have just seen this movie, I'm in New Zealand and a huge horror fan. It was Melanie Lynskey being in it that got my interest. Movies are all about expectations. I was expecting a low budget horror some stalking sequences and some gore.

    Right from minute one my expectations changed. This is a DV feature and it reminded me of film school. It has an effective opening scene that was very creepy. The use of audio in this film was great and I liked that it was in the day for a change. Some of the acting seemed weak at the start. But it got better, I'm guessing this was shot in sequence so once the actors got warmed up it was better. I found it a little hard to believe that out of three women there was only one cell phone.

    The story is about 3 women who have a slumber party, At the same time there is a serial killer who shoots people with a mini crossbow from the roof. Just as the girls are about to call the party off, there is a thud on the roof. What differentiates this from other films, The day time setting and these girls aren't stupid. I would really like to see what this director could do with more time and money.

    The American accent took some adjusting to. It's not noticeable in mainstream features but it really stood out for some reason. This movie takes a while to get started but once it does it's really good. As with most good horrors the monster/villain is kept out of sight for most of it.

    I can't quite recommend this to everyone. I think if you've seen DV before and it doesn't bother you, Then give it a chance. I'll score it a 3 out of 5.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Awfuly directed by Mark Tapio Kines, the camera is flickering all the time and it's impossibile to watch by audiences. The plot is a bunch of nonsense... The movie is so boring that you may fall asleep. It's nothing good to see here.

    There are only 3 characters here (that doesn't look good, either) , the acting is bad and the movie itself doesn't worth a penny. It's very low on gore.

    This is the worst low-budget horror I've ever seen. I don't remember seeing worst. If you want to see this, think about it first: "an imaginary killer on the rooftop". How stupid is this? I mean... what's next? A real killer in the house? You'll never get any worst than this, trust me!

    1/10
  • In spite of the new title ("Serial Slayer" vs. the original "Claustrophobia"), this movie is not a dumb slasher film that would appeal to a typical teenage boy... anyone expecting such a film may well be disappointed with this movie. Rather, it is a more intelligent thriller that deals not only with the threat of a murderer but with the problems of an apathetic society in which people would rather not get involved in other people's business, even to help them.

    I admit that I'm a wuss, but I was certainly scared and kept in suspense by this film. I had a hard time sleeping after seeing it, because the degree of realism within the movie was troubling to me. Dare I say that this movie perhaps speaks more to a female audience? There was no shortage of frightened women in the audience when I saw the film! I suppose it is easier for women to imagine themselves in such a predicament and personalize the film. Besides, most women aren't hoping to see some slasher flick that only exists to amuse people by how gross and gruesome it can be.

    Sheeri Rappaport gives a fine performance as Gina, who I found to be the most interesting and realistic character. The musical score is quite good. There is also quite a good bit of humor mixed in with the suspense, which *almost* kept it from being too intense for me. But I still hid my eyes, felt queasy and thought about it too much later that evening... which is what good horror films are meant to do, right?
  • You could just take this advice… This is a fast buck movie, so it is to be avoided. But if you want this movie to waste even more of your life, read on.

    'The hunt is on' was the tag line from this Artisan direct to video, but the hunt is hardly on in this movie. Far from claustrophobic, the movies horrid sound and camera work make you want to run away. Obviously shot on digital video, with poor performances all around, the premise is three woman house-sitting for the weekend and rudely interrupted by the well publicized 'Serial Stalker'. The plot is paper thin. It is the middle of the day in cali-suburbia, yet, these girls fear leaving the house at slight bumps. Every footstep, killer or prey, rings out like a tap dancer throwing a temper tantrum. The three 'Scares' are vastly predictable, the make up and special effects are non existent, and the dialog is total cheese. Did I mention the novel weapon is a toy crossbow that is vastly less menacing then the hunting crossbow on the promotional packaging? I don't think I could be more descriptive without being insulting, but I will. This is lower than student quality on all aspects of production and I feel bad claiming poor acting knowing that this must have been a one day shoot for Lynskey, Rappaport and Rajskub. Not their finest moment, and you can tell they know it. It also has very high saturation, not to hide the action as other reviews might suggest, but because the lighting guy mows lawns on the weekend. This is a fast buck movie, so it is to be avoided. It is a wasted 79 minutes. The only thing this movie seems to muster is novel ways to make a movie worse.
  • the thing i liked about this movie is it's dedication to realism. it's intentional that this looks like a home movie, with hand-held cameras and flat lighting, so it's almost like a documentary. mark tapio kines is trying something new, with realistic dialog, and characters that are more like real women than i usually see in horror. then... there's that whole daylight thing. very risky, but kines pulls it off.

    there's only 3 things wrong with the movie. first is the video look. i have no problem with stuff shot on video, but it's so easy to add a film look! I'm surprised neither kines nor lions gate did this. second problem is the bad marketing. the film should have kept the title "Claustrophobia" and had appropriate artwork. the DVD cover totally misrepresents it. third and finally is melanie lynskey. she was amazing in "heavenly creatures" but she was just a teenager then, and was directed by a genius -- peter jackson. her costar kate winslet probably raised the acting bar too. i've seen her in a few movies since then, and she's always flat. i keep hoping she will get better, 'cause she's a cutie, but... no dice. but she doesn't ruin the movie. in fact, she's pretty good during the last 10 minutes. the other two girls are really good, and "live" their roles. and judith o'dea from "night of the living dead" is a total treat. too bad we see so little of her.

    "Serial Slayer" is a fun little flick, if you can get into it's no-budget look. smart script and direction. good music and camera work. decent suspense, even if not much gore. hopefully kines will get more money for his next movie and shoot ON FILM. :)
  • People looking for a HORROR movie should read:

    This movie has a great concept. A serial killer who uses a miniature crossbow to shoot suburban civilians from their very own rooftops! This movie could have been so good! But it's not. It's actually pretty terrible, ranking among the worst horror movies that I have ever seen. First of all, the entire movie takes place in the middle of broad daylight. The atmosphere is bright, and sunny, and happy. Couldn't the director have chosen a moodier setting? Yes, he could have. What was the deal? Did this movie really have so small a budget that they couldn't afford to properly light a night scene? That at least would have created a bit of suspense, but no, this movie contains no suspense. The main reason for this is that we, as the audience, don't care about the characters, mainly because we can tell that they are not really afraid about their circumstances. They are not very good actresses. Also, every time a kill takes place, it is extremely uninteresting: nothing more than a tiny, dart-like, arrow piercing through the victim's chest. The unmasking of the killer is played off as if it is some great epiphany. Oh My! The killer is just a kid! Who cares? I sure didn't, and neither would anybody else who has an attention span higher than that of some kid with ADD. The artwork on the front of the box is so pretty, and the description on the back of the box is so intriguing, but don't be fooled like I was. Stay away! The only interesting part of this film was the opening credits in which one of the characters listens to the radio as it spouts information about the serial killer. There is a direct reference to the sniper who terrorized the east coast recently. The director must have seen that story on the news and thought he could play off of it. Sicko. This movie gets a 1/10.

    Continued: for the people who have been bashing my comment:

    You're right, this wasn't a horror movie, but it was still complete and utter garbage that contained no suspense, terrible acting, a stupid killer, awfully done death scenes, and not one hint of hope that anything good could come out of whoever made this heap of trash. HORROR FANS STAY CLEAR- this isn't horror! It's supposed to be suspense/thriller. However, it should be filed under its own specific genre of BAD. You have to agree with me here though: Lion's Gate made this film look like it was a serial killer slasher/ horror film, and for that they are total jerks! (Sorry lion's gate, I mostly Love you!)And here's the thing about the darkness: We are instinctively afraid of what we cannot see, of what could be waiting for us in the dark silence. If this movie was supposed to be suspenseful, was supposed to have a killer stalking from house to house by means of rooftop, then the movie should not have taken place entirely at the middle of the day! What kind of a stupid killer would go out and jump from rooftop to rooftop killing many people at random in the middle of suburbia during the afternoon??? You can bet he'd be caught before he got too far! Stupid movie. Stupid, STUPID movie. I could go on forever about how horrible it truly is. Maybe I will...

    The dialog (some go as far to say that there is some humor in it- nope) is laughable in a 'this is so bad I can't laugh' sort of way. The lead actress say she's taken classes on serial killer behavior, and she spouts off the same clichéd information that has been recited in every serial killer movie ever made. Not to mention, the information she does know serves absolutely no purpose in the progression of the plot. It's just randomly thrown in there because the director though he had to put it in there somewhere. It comes at an unbelievably boring scene in which the girls sit around and waste time doing nothing.

    People, I am in love with horror/suspense/thriller films. There are really really good ones out there. See the movies "Halloween" or "Silence of the Lambs" or "Seven" or, if you're looking for low budget, see "Open Water". I especially recommend Dario Argento's "Opera." Those are all a billion times more suspenseful than this. There is a reason that they are or have remained popular over the years. "Serial Slayer" nearly put me to sleep. Avoid it at ALL COSTS! Re-rating: 0/10. And that is the lowest and most absolute zero I can give.
  • Xenodwarf14 September 2004
    I've seen some bad movies in my life time, but this movie is one of the worst. What surprises me the the most is that it got distributed outside USA. You can clearly see that this movie is made by amateurs, first of all the lighting is really bad, at one point you can't even see the person being film because the sun whites out the camera. The acting is bad, the dialogs are boring, and scenes are drawn out to make the movie longer (at least so it seems) Another thing is the sound effects. the plot in the movie spins around a serial killer going after three girls in a house. Most of the time the killer is on the roof. This results in footsteps on the roof.. But the footsteps sounds SO wrong. It actually sounds like someone walking on dry snow, only there is no snow. There are some good things about the movie though. Sheeri Rappaport who plays Gina actually plays a credible character, and at the end of the movie they manage to make it a bit scary, and for a minute your not sure how it's gonna end.

    It's great that new directors get to make movies, and i understand that these guys have a limited supply of money. But distributing this around the world is ripping people off. Luckily i didn't have to pay to see it.
  • R Becker13 February 2007
    Pretty dreary, pretty dull. Sought it out because of a friend of a friend, but wasn't impressed. You could do worse, but you could certainly do better. Neither the acting, nor the writing, nor the cinematography was involving or suspenseful. The premise -- the crossbow guy -- is pretty offbeat, but given what you see in movies nowadays, it's not a bad notion. What it really comes down to is execution. The film just isn't all that engrossing. If you cared more about these characters, it could really be something. But as it is, the movie is really not about people you'd want to know on any level, even as fictional characters. This lack of connection is the most crucial flaw in the movie. Without caring about the people entangled in this situation, the situation itself is largely academic. This could have been made better in the writing phase, or it could have been improved by the right guidance for the cast. Neither is present here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    i don't know whos idea this was, but they should just hang it up and work somewhere else. this was by far the worst pile of crap i have ever had the displeasure of witnessing. in fact, i want that hour and a half of my life back. the thing that got me was the fact that the packaging was 100% misleading. it shows a huge mansion at night and this jacked, menacing killer with a devastating looking crossbow. the movie takes place in the middle of the day in a ranch house in the middle of suburbia, and the crossbow killer is a scrawny dude wielding a dart gun you would find in the children's section of Wal-mart. it was i believe 79 minutes or so long, and roughly 77 minutes were devoid of anything except terrible acting. NOTHING HAPPENED! there were some footsteps, a girl and a delivery boy were "attacked", if you could even call it that, but otherwise nothing happened. when their friend was attacked, they did NOTHING but let her sit in another room. finally when one girl miraculously escapes the Wal-mart killer, she doesn't run to a neighbors house to tell them that this crossbow killer is on her roof, no she runs down the street past dozens of houses and stumbles across a guy and says "um, there's um, been an um, accident". do not waste your time on this worthless pile of garbage. i feel legitimately cheated.
  • I am a huge fan of Mary Lynn Rajskub and would just like to say that this movie is very good. At first i thought it was going to be a bad low budget flick like many others that I've seen. I really don't think that the other reviewers that have given this movie a poor rating because they say its the worst low budget film ever have actually seen many low budget films. The video look of the film works in the films favor and Mary Lynn is just so adorable as the misfit Grace who you can tell just wants to have some friends. I love this movie. It really finds its own style and sticks to it. The characters are well developed and there are actually some scary moments that i was very surprised of because i just wasn't expecting any. The cast really makes the danger believable and the story is great as well. I am actually going to watch this movie again in a few minutes before i go to bed. Its that good.
  • "Serial Slayer" is a film that seems to abolish all horror/suspense flick clichés and start anew, with a fresh, well-written story. Mark Tapio Kines brings us an original, thought-provoking piece of film-making that can frighten and entertain lovers of all genres. Melanie Lynskey leads the trio of strong leading ladies, who all adequately portray the intensity of this well-paced thriller. The film, however, does contain one main flaw - its misleading cover art. But, blame the folks over at Lions' Gate for that one. This is by no means a standard, run-of-the-mill slasher flick, but an above-average independent feature that will surely please even hardcore horror buffs.

    I hope to see more films by Mr. Kines in the near future. Two thumbs up.
  • Serial Slayer (2003) is a bad movie masquerading as a horror film. This movie is terrible. I have never seen such a blatant attempt to pad out a movie in a while. Scenes stretch out forever and at several points in the film, the pacing stops at a stand still. I don't know why Melanie Lynsky is in this movie, even she looks bored and unmotivated. The cast seems listless and bored. Just like the audience. Maybe this is a concept movie because by the time it was over I was waiting for a serial slayer to come and put me out of my misery.

    If you're going to make a low budget movie and shoot it on video, at least make it interesting (i.e. witty dialog, kinetically charged action set pieces, gore, good directing). Lame acting, listless directing and long drawn out scenes will get you nowhere.

    Toss another disc into the dust bin.

    It's a shame because Melanie Lynsky is a great actress and she deserves better film projects.
  • I visited Los Angeles recently and saw this movie when my buddy invited me to a hollywood premiere. I wouldn't have commented on it if not for the grossly misleading review on this page which was obviously written by someone responsible for the "film". I was horrified within minutes... and confused. I couldn't understand why something that looked like it was directed by my 12 year old brother was being played in an actual movie theatre. But, I kept watching and gave it a chance. I still regret that decision. The ensuing story and dialogue were so unclear and boring that I was hoping someone would shoot me with an arrow... one through each eye... hopefully killing me. Shockingly, this "horror" movie about girls trapped in a house by an unseen mass murderer takes place in the middle of the day in a suburban residential area. There is no suspense, no tension, no horror, no movie.
  • It wouldn't be fair to compare this movie with ones like Silence of The Lambs, Halloween or Scream. Those movies had very high budgets, extra famous actors not to mention top-of-the-line equipment. In Serial Slayer, I saw 3 actors that did an excellent job ..not to mention they all were very good looking ! The movie's story was very intriguing, the blood and gore was mild but sufficient, the scary music added to the suspense, and the entire crew involved proved there doesn't always have to actors like Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster to capture an audience.. A horror movie doesn't need to have raunchy sex scenes with tits flopping everywhere to make it more interesting. Personally I find the last few Stephen King movies awful. He seems to go way off track with his super natural B.S. that loses your interest after 80 minutes.

    An interesting thing to note. I purchased this movie and Stephen King's Rose Red at the same time for the exact same price. ($ 3.99) I couldn't get through Rose Red because it was too long and too boring. I feel totally the opposite with Serial Slayer. I'm sure Rose Red cost a lot more to make and here it is 3 years after they were made. They both cost the same amount to buy and Serial Slayer was better ! That doesn't say much for good old Stephen King !! Perhaps he should consider retiring.

    I think everyone involved with this movie should be congratulated on a decent job. I give it an 8.
  • ohmynerves9 February 2005
    I really enjoyed this thriller a lot. It's definitely the type of movie that keeps you thinking and guessing unlike the lackluster Hollywood thrillers being pumped out recently. The creative glue to Claustrophobia is the overall idea, directing and great acting. It's worth seeing even though at times it can take time to reveal its secrets. However, It's worth the wait. The story and moral questions it presents creep into the psyche and last well after the film is finished. I think the director should be complimented for doing a really good job in keeping the audience involved. The twists and turns are just enough to keep one hooked to its final conclusion.
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