American Killing (2016)

Jeb’s cartoon is on the verge of cancellation, so the studio sends him and his writers to a house in the mountains to write the entire next season as fast as possible. However, Jeb’s controlling personality and obsessive work ethic ruins things immediately. And when he starts to plant cameras all over and call people on their hidden conversations, things go from bad to murder.

Jeb is soon fired by the studio, yet he keeps watching the house from the home of his mother, who never wanted him in the first place. He then returns, killing the rest of the writers one at a time, making his own snuff film.

Originally known as Wichita, this movie was written, directed, produced, and scored by a group of film-school friends who graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, including directors Justyn Ah Chong and Matthew D. Ward. It stars Trevor Peterson (Grizzly Park), Persia White (The Vampire Diaries) and Caitlin Gerard (Insidious: The Last Key).

Seeing as how this was the filmmaker’s first full-length film, it’s unfair to demand much of it. There are some intriguing ideas here, but the movie never seems to feel like it develops much before it wildly veers in tone. There are some good ideas here and I’m interested to see what everyone does next.

American Killing is available via On Demand and DVD on August 6.

DISCLAIMER: We were sent this movie by its PR department. That has no impact on our review.

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