A Horrible Way to Die title image
, , , ,
87 min.
Release Date
A Horrible Way to Die poster

A bleak, unforgiving look at a serial killer and those left in his wake, A Horrible Way to Die adopts the perspective of Sarah, played by Amy Seimetz. She’s a three-months-sober alcoholic who works at an orthodontist’s office, and something awful happened in her past. It’s the reason she decided to stop drinking and attend regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings; the reason she’s hesitant to start dating again; and the reason the story unfolds in a fractured, nonlinear structure, fading in and out of scenes from her numbed, fuzzy, and traumatized point of view. Although the film has earned comparisons to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) for its willingness to engage the mind of its central murderer—Garrick Turrell, played by A. J. Bowen, who gives his character chilling humanity beneath his depraved impulses—the film is more affecting as a portrait of how far people will go to rationalize and maintain normalcy. Written by Simon Barrett and directed by Adam Wingard, the team behind You’re Next (2013) and The Guest (2014), the film features a cast of mumblegore regulars in a film that’s slow-burning and unnerving, and among their best work together.

The full review is currently posted on Patreon. Join Deep Focus Review’s Patron community, and you’ll receive exclusive access to this review and many other writings published on Patreon first.

Patrons also get access to:

• Exclusive weekly blog posts
• Streaming recommendations every Friday
• Polls to pick the movies reviewed on Deep Focus Review and Patreon
• Pick your own “Reader’s Choice” review (at the Screenwriter tier or higher)
• Polls that decide the next entry in The Definitives

Become a Patron!

Recent Articles

  1. The Definitives: Melancholia
  2. The Definitives: Eve's Bayou
  3. Guest Appearance: Kare 11 - Three movies that got 'snubbed' by the Oscars in 2024
  4. The Definitives: Goodfellas
  5. The Definitives: Millennium Mambo
  6. Reader's Choice: The Devil's Advocate
  7. Reader's Choice: Sisu
  8. Reader's Choice: Peter Pan & Wendy
  9. Top 10 Films of 2023
  10. Guest Appearance: St. Paul Filmcast - Top 10 Films of 2023