First things first, Women Who Kill is a great title. If nothing else, writer director Ingrid Jungermann’s film has a killer title. It’s also the name of the podcast produced by the film’s two main characters, Morgan (Jungermann) and Jean (Ann Carr), a show where the two former lovers discuss female killers. This is a great idea for a podcast. Women Who Kill is an awesome name for a cool podcast. Unfortunately, it’s not a great movie.
Jean and Morgan aren’t the typical ex-couple. They still work together, they still live together, and they hang out all the time. They just aren’t together together. Their friendship and work becomes strained when Margot, despite being allergic to commitment, starts dating Simone (Sheila Vand, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night) a mysterious new girl in town. But as Morgan and Simone get more serious, Jean becomes convinced that Simone might be an infamous serial killer.
Women Who Kill sounds like a pithy, fun thriller and that is almost certainly what it wants to be, but it’s hard to know for sure. The film has such tonal issues, that it can be difficult to tell when moments are meant to be played for laughs for scares. Jungermann comes from the world of internet shorts and her experience shows. Individual scenes feel fun and lively, but the film is less than the sum of its parts.
Many of the issues with Women Who Kill stem from its violation of a crucial law of comedy: the film has no straight man. I don’t mean a heterosexual male, I mean a grounded character that provides counterpoint to the snarky, deadpan humor these characters baste in. Grace Rex provides a welcome breath of fresh air as a friend’s fiancé, but she’s appears too infrequently to serve as any real anchor. For the most part the film is adrift amongst Brooklynites that have rolodexes of zingers instead of personality.
Verdict: 2 out of 5
Women Who Kill scores big points for a solid premise, and a great title, but its unable to straddle the comedy and thriller genres, falling into a murky grey space in between. For a comedy, it’s short on laughs. For a thriller, it’s short on thrills. So, Women Who Kill isn’t the wry genre blender it wanted to be; it’s still a great name for a solid podcast. If it doesn’t exist already, someone should get on it.