When a serial killer escapes from prison, the dangerous past of a young woman dealing with alcoholic rehab quickly begins to catch up with her.
Embark on a trip into a quiet, paranoid world where ugly things happen behind closed doors and down desolate country roads. Garrick (A.J. Bowen) has escaped from prison and is on the run. His ordinary looks and casual demeanour mask his menacing true nature; that of an unassuming serial killer who can’t control his compulsion to kill. Disguising his appearance and driving along interstates under the cover of night, he leaves a trail of corpses as he makes his way across the country. Meanwhile, Sarah (Amy Seimetz) spends her days working as a dental hygienist and her evenings in AA meetings. She slowly opens up to the support group and makes a tentative romantic connection with fellow member Kevin (Joe Swanberg). Awkward in their newfound sobriety, they bump and fumble in their courtship until Sarah gradually gains the confidence to reveal a dark secret from her wounded past; a secret that, unbeknownst to her, is about to resurface. The two juxtaposed storylines interweave as the film progresses, allowing the mystery to unfold at its own contemplative pace. While the title might imply a degree of exploitation and nastiness, director Adam Wingard triumphs in placing the dramatic narrative ahead of genre conventions. Still, the frenetic tension is palpable as it builds to a boiling point and the characters’ secrets are gradually revealed.
Adam Wingard gained attention for numerous videos and shorts, as well as his micro-budget, head-trip features Home Sick and Pop Skull, which were both self-financed and made with friends. He’s developed a keen cinematic eye, melding striking imagery with intricately layered soundscapes to create emotionally honest characters and an intimate atmosphere. A Horrible Way to Die marks the arrival of a fresh, dedicated vision in independent American cinema.
The movie made its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).