Women Who Kill is killin’ it

And now for something else rather different: a movie review! As you may know, I see approximately 2 movies per year. I used to maintain, perhaps overly smugly, that I go for quality over quantity. Sadly, in the last couple of years my taste in movies seems to have deteriorated. Most disappointingly, I was recently excited to learn of the movie Wild Canaries, about a Brooklyn couple investigating a murder. Perfect for me, I thought: Brooklyn, comedy, and film noir in one compact package. Sadly, I found the characters unlikeable and the plot simplistic. Little did I know a remedy was on the way: one of my favorite directors had made a movie with a similar premise, and this time the movie was everything I wanted and more. So this Friday evening I found myself at the premiere of Ingrid Jungermann’s excellent Women Who Kill, which incorporates just about everything I like in a movie.

I first learned about Ms. Jungermann through her deadpan and hilarious web series F to 7th. Her characterizations of life in Brooklyn were spot-on, and so I was excited to see what she’d do with a full-length film. And I was intrigued by the premise of Women Who Kill: two exes, Morgan and Jean, collaborate on a female serial killer podcast, and one of them begins to suspect the other is dating a serial killer.

I don’t want to spoil the plot for you, since it includes some surprising twists, but I will say that the film’s balance of comedy and menace is just right, as is its loving skewering of Brooklyn mores. (Morgan gets in trouble at the food coop, and someone tells her to go back to Key Food; someone weeping and painting a bicycle white is our first tipoff that a monstrous killer may be on the loose.) Though the plot is certainly entertaining, it becomes unexpectedly moving as it progresses, and you realize that your first impressions of the characters need some adjustment.

As the credits rolled, I found myself wanting to watch again, armed with the details of the movie’s ending, which put a different spin on events. I even found myself thinking maybe I should get to the movies more often. If I keep up this pace, I’ll make it all the way to 3 this year.

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