He is also quite adept at crafting engaging victims in just a few brief scenes. Naomi and her boyfriend bicker while walking to the apartment building. During the argument, it remains clear that the two do love each other. Another victim spends a great deal of time in the living room, assessing how big the wall is and how much shelf space he might have. This clearly establishes that he is social and wants a big TV to show off during parties and the like.
Simon Berry is fantastic as the maniacal killer whose tenuous grasp on his deadly impulses is decaying. While explaining how much he loves Naomi, and waxing on about the life he plans for them, Berry makes one’s blood curdled. The way he switches from funny, charming even, to a cold-blooded killer is impressive. And given he is present in so much of the film, he shoulders a lot of the film and proves up to the challenge.
Alice Mulholland is equally as impressive as the primary victim. She is easy to sympathize with, and as her captivity goes on, Mulholland nails the deteriorating mental state and hopelessness of her character. The rest of the cast do a credible job as well, with each of the actors being believable in their short appearances.
“…what Millennial Killer excels at is pure dread and creepiness.”
The editing in Millennial Killer is also quite good. When cutting from a couple being abducted to Naomi yelling about how futile escaping is creates a genuine sense of dread for the newly imprisoned people. Or the way Mason-Bell, who also edited the film, juxtaposes the seemingly serene opportunity of young adults receiving the call about the flat with his actual murdering ways, is both exciting and terrifying.
Jackson Batchelor’s cinematography is phenomenal. The lighting and use of color throughout the film is terrific. A tight close-up of Mulholland’s face as she talks to her dead significant other in a fate of lunacy, with an intense red light shining on and around her, is the perfect visual summation of how unhinged she is becoming during this ordeal. Even in the more mundane scenes, the cinematography conveys a strong sense of atmosphere.
Millennial Killer does not dive deep enough into its titular antagonist’s life to really explore its core ideas. Otherwise, Sam Mason-Bell delivers a riveting and intense horror film. Thanks to a fantastic cast, led by a menacing Simon Berry and an ominous atmosphere, the film delivers the scares in a big way. Couple that with its exquisite cinematography, lighting, and editing, and you get a film that demands the viewer’s attention from the first frame to the last.
Millennial Killer premiered at the Horror-On-Sea Film Festival.
"…demands the viewer’s attention from the first frame to the last."