It is safe to say that 2017 has been a year where horror has flourished, both in mainstream and in the indie world. Horror movies smashed the box office with Get Out and It, while others were watched on various platforms and talked about all through social media. More people seem to be flocking to the theatre to see horror movies more than in the past and streaming services are inundating viewers with all the best horror they can get ahold of, especially Shudder’s streaming service. With Psychopaths, we see that horror is not slowing down and even at year’s end, Mickey Keating is delivering the goods.
Psychopaths takes place over the course of a violent night following several, well, psychopaths. The odyssey is narrated by Jeff Daniel Phillips who gives a sultry almost radio announcer vibe throughout. The movie starts out with a serial killer named Starkweather, played by the always amazing Larry Fessenden, has been executed. Prior to execution the inmate proclaims “Everyone is a Starkweather, an entity that encapsulates evil in individuals.” This sets the tone for the rest of the film.
Following the introduction to the now executed inmate, the viewer goes on a violent trip of chutes and ladders as the disturb beings paint the town red. Ashley Bell (Carnage Park) and Angela Trimbur (Trash Fire, Final Girls) outshine everything in this film. Words cannot even begin to describe how absolutely awesome they were. Bell plays an escaped mental patient, Alice, whose multiple personalities pave the way for one amazing sinister performance. Trimbur plays an Atomic Blonde-esque woman, labelled as Blondie, who is out for blood. Aside from these two stylishly evil women, the film also stars Keating native James Landry Hébert (Carnage Park) as The Strangler, Jeremy Gardner (Spring, The Battery) as a maniac cop, and Shudder’s own Sam Zimmerman as contract killer seeking revenge for the death of Starkweather.
Psychopaths is beautifully grotesque and all in the good ways of horror. With a few qualms set aside, this movie is a psychedelic acid trip filled with bone chilling scenes and perfect music to accompany it. You can tell where this film pays homage to other movies. Keating’s films seem to grow in brutality as the years go on. Psychopaths is probably his most violent bloodbath yet but this just makes anticipation for his future works in horror more exciting. Keating excels in nightmarish imagery in this non linear narrative guaranteed to make the audience have a fun time.
Starkweather once states “The evil inside ain’t goin nowhere, you can kill my body but you can’t kill me spirit.” Sit back, relax, and watch that evil unload.
Writer, producer, and director Mickey Keating teams up with again with editor Valerie Krulfeifer and production company Glass Eye Pix. With the balls to the wall movie that this is, one can only hope their creative and business relationship continues for many films to come. Psychopaths hits theaters December 1st and VOD January 2nd.