This world is full of self-help gurus who claim to have all the answers to life’s problems. People with less-than-stellar lives flock to them with grand fervor, hoping that they can find a way out of their often self-imposed stagnation. In A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, we first meet Lou Farnt (Katie Brayben), a meek, mild-mannered woman who lives with and takes care of her mother, Maureen (Sarah Ball). Her mother is exceptionally demanding of her time, and Lou wants more out of life than to be stuck in the British suburbs with her mother. As a result, she becomes obsessed with self-help authors, particularly the smug and smarmy American force of nature, Chuck Knoah (Ben Lloyd-Hughes).
“…yet another joker in the pack of self-proclaimed life coaches, but there’s something that sets her apart, she’s a serial killer.”
While attending a seminar of one British self-help smooth-talker Barry Withnott (David Newman), Lou meets a mysterious smoking woman named Val Stone (Poppy Roe), who tells Lou, “I wouldn’t follow him down any pathway, he looks like a greased up pedo.” Lou becomes fascinated with Val, who gets kicked out of the seminar for smoking but not before giving Lou her card. She’s yet another joker in the pack of self-proclaimed life coaches, but there’s something that sets her apart, she’s a serial killer. She wants to be the best life coach in the world, so she enlists Lou as her partner in a road-trip to get rid of the competition. At first, Lou is clueless as to what’s happening, but once she discovers the truth, she turns a corner and, through murder, gains confidence and a sense of self.
A bone-dry dark horror-comedy, A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, is I Heart Huckabees meets American Psycho by way of Thelma and Louise. It takes the piss at the self-help establishment, showing us many different forms of “enlightenment” via nature therapy, sound therapy, laughing therapy, and all that lies in between. It makes a larger statement about how desperate we are as humans to be connected to ourselves that we’ll believe almost anything, including a serial-killer life coach, if it makes us feel better about our humdrum lives.
"…as the delusional serial-killer who truly believes she can be the next Tony Robbins..."