American Killing – USA, 2016 – reviews

‘A nation’s favorite pastime.’

American Killing aka Wichita is a 2016 horror thriller feature film about a disillusioned cartoonist who becomes deranged and shoots his own reality TV death show.

Co-produced and directed by Matthew David Ward and Justyn Ah Chong, the Faraway Features production stars Trevor Peterson (Grizzly Park), Persia White (The Vampire Diaries) and Caitlin Gerard (Insidious: The Last Key).

Plot:

Jeb’s cartoon is on the verge of cancellation, so the studio sends him and an eclectic team of writers to a secluded house in the mountains.

As Jeb’s controlling personality and obsessive work ethic starts to push the team apart, he goes even further by planting spy cameras in places shared and private, obsessed on what everyone is doing.

Jeb is soon fired by the studio but he continues to spy in secret from his home leading him further down the road to madness. In his most desperate hour, Jeb seals his fate as a vicious madman by returning to the house and murdering his writers one-by-one, on camera.

Past emotions and tensions flare, and while nothing goes as Jeb planned, the unforeseen twists, turns, and revelations make his snuff film a violent spectacle sure to go down in infamy…

Release:

The movie premiered at at the Santa Fe Film Festival on 9 December 2016 as Wichita. American Killing will be released on DVD and Digital on August 6th, 2019.

Reviews:

” …a pretty solid horror flick about an overworked maniac with voyeuristic talents […] The early half of the film is a little stilted and doesn’t quite hang together in terms of tension. But, the film’s last half decides to kick things into gear.” Troy Anderson, Anderson Vision

” …the slightly shaky acting and occasional over the top special effects do not detract from the viewing experience, and enough empathy and understanding is created for the characters before they are subjected to Jeb’s wraith […] Wichita is a decent story that is must watch for all indie horror fans…” Robyn Andrew, Cryptic Rock

” …a solid psychological thriller with a great performance by Peterson, who manages to get under the viewer’s skin in the worst way. This indie makes some bold moves and engenders sympathies that are sure to shock.” No Real Danger

“This movie takes a lot of the classic horror moves into play, so a few of the scenes seemed predictable. Trevor Peterson played an amazing role as Jeb though! It’s very easy to get caught up in his character’s story and that is why we have to applaud him.” Reel Reviews Over Brews

” …it zig-zags through multiple genres, from drama to comedy (or at least media satire), psycho-thriller to slasher, plays with found footage mainstays (though it’s not filmed that way), and it successfully forces the point of view of a loser turned psychopath onto the audience…” Mike Haberfelner, Search My Trash

“The film is largely reliant on Peterson’s performance of a weaselly, voyeur, slasher which he pulls off entertainingly well. The first time directors don’t quite capture the subtle beauty of a descent into madness but keep Jeb entertaining and more than a vessel for a kill.” Without Your Head

Cast and characters:

  • Trevor Peterson … Jeb – The Vampire DiariesGrizzly Park
  • Persia White … Raven – The Vampire DiariesBlood DollsBuffy the Vampire Slayer TV series
  • Caitlin Gerard … Natalie – Insidious: Chapter 4SmileyThe Awakening
  • Demetri Goritsas … Clark
  • Christopher Wolfe … Billy
  • Melinda Lee … Joan
  • Sondra Blake … Mama
  • Adam Carr … Dickey
  • Stephen Cervantes … News Reporter (voice)
  • Jennifer Christopher … Claudia
  • Lenny Citrano … Mr. Charon
  • Max Kasch … Bart
  • Clifford Morts … Preacher

Technical details:

85 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Other titles:

The film’s original working title was Manifesto.

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