MARCH 26 » 7:15p

MARCH 28 » 9:45p


2010, USA, 85 min.
Director: Adam Wingard Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
Cast: A.J. Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg

View the Trailer

Director Adam Wingard, last seen gracing BUFF screens with his visually mesmerizing Pop Skull in 2008, is back with a much sharper, and decidedly darker, take on the weakness of the human psyche. A Horrible Way to Die showcases a young director at the top of his game helped along by an incisive script and a solid cast of familiar indie actors.

Garrett Turrell is an infamous serial murderer, just escaped from prison. Like an alcoholic called to the bottle, Garrett cannot resist the compulsion to kill and uses his newfound freedom to blaze a path toward what he left behind, leaving a grisly trail of corpses in his wake.

Sarah is new in town, and hoping to forget her troubled past. Seeking to meet new people, she takes a chance with Kevin, a regular at her weekly AA meetings. Awkwardly charming, Sarah and Kevin seem to fumble toward an unlikely romance while Sarah’s sketchy past threatens to derail all she’s hoped to escape.

Of course these parallel story lines are bound to intersect, but contrary to the gore-fest you may expect from the film’s title, the violence sneaks up on you in short bursts, and is over before you even know it. Wingard relies more on character development and unfolding the action at a very deliberate pace rather than relying on simple shock tactics, and his keen eye for detail and visual flair elevate A Horrible Way to Die from an above-average serial killer drama to high art. If you weren’t already impressed with Wingard, you will be.

— Kevin Monahan


Beating Hearts
Matthew Garrett
11 min.

A harrowing take on family dysfunction from the director of Morris County (BUFF 2009).