Film Review: PSYCHOPATHS (2017)

Film Review: PSYCHOPATHS (2017)

Mar 21, 2018

Director: Mickey Keating
Stars: Ashley Bell, Josh Ethier, Larry Fessenden

Since the release of 2011’s ULTRA VIOLENCE writer/director Mickey Keating has made a name for himself. Keating delivers his own take on so many of horror’s sub-genres and in so many different styles. From the evil cult of RITUAL, to the alien invasion/government conspiracy/paranoia fueled POD to the Peckinpahesque CARNAGE PARK he’s covered a lot of ground. With his latest, PSYCHOPATHS he delivers a slasher film crossed with Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE and visually designed by Dario Argento. The result is certainly unique and impressive, but I’m still not sure if I can honestly say I liked it.

PSYCHOPATHS begins with a Mansonesque serial killer (Larry Fessenden THE MIND’S EYE, WE ARE STILL HERE) vowing to spread his evil after his execution, What we see is the aftermath, as four psychopaths commit their crimes in loosely connected narratives. And I’m not being pretentious using the that term. Calling them stories would be stretching it, they’re more a collection of bloody over the top vignettes presented in a non-linear chronology. The result feels more like a hallucination than a movie.

Keating has referred to PSYCHOPATHS as a collage of blood and glamour and that’s a pretty fair description. It also goes without saying that a film like this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Those who need a more traditional structure are probably not going to find much joy here. This is about as experimental as a film can get and still be considered mainstream. Fragmented and disjointed both visually using a different style for each plot line and in narrative as it bounces around in time between those threads, it’s quite a handful to follow at times.

There’s some good performances here, especially from Ashley Bell (THE LAST EXORCISM, CARNAGE PARK) and Sam Zimmerman (MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND) but they’re hampered by the odd structure and some serious pacing issues. This isn’t an actor’s movie anyway, PSYCHOPATHS belongs to the director and cinematographer.

For those who want something different, very different, PSYCHOPATHS is worth checking out.