Jonny (Kiah McKirnan)
"Jonny (Kiah McKirnan)," Jennifer Reeder, directed by Jennifer Reeder, 2023, (Tribeca Film Festival)

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Film Summary

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Jonny is quickly approaching her 18th birthday, and weird things are happening. There are constant nose bleeds and weird morphs of her face, and then she finds herself sent away to live with her weird great aunt Hildie. But maybe this isn’t the worst thing, as Hildie has some answers regarding what Jonny is going through. But, at the school Jonny is now enrolled in, there have been a series of kidnappings, and if Jonny isn’t careful, she might be next.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Jonny

Jonny is a 17-year-old girl struggling with a father whose inconsistent behavior makes her want to run away and gain her freedom, even if it means stealing.

Hildie

Hildie (Alicia Silverstone)
“Hildie (Alicia Silverstone),” Jennifer Reeder, directed by Jennifer Reeder, 2023, (Tribeca Film Festival)

Hildie is Jonny’s mysterious aunt who dresses like she enjoys a good Victorian fair.

Jean

Jonny’s mom, who she thought abandoned her a long time ago.

Review

Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Highlights

The Humor

“Perpetrator” exists in a world where you can have blood and guts but not necessarily be scary. Instead, there is humor, often in the form of awkward moments, like the kidnapper noting they are f***able, or other weird happenings throughout the school, like a guidance counselor who seems to be going for plastic surgery perpetually. It all is comical in ways that never veer towards corny but are certainly in line with the type of jokes the horror genre loves to use to poke fun at what is the norm and accepted.

On The Fence

How It Rushes Through Character Development & Story

A lot in “Perpetrator” is established but not dove into. There is the establishment of certain people having powers, the kidnapper focusing only on girls and potentially it being for body parts. Then there is Jonny’s mom Jean, who hasn’t been part of her life. Many different storylines are established that could draw you in further but like an action movie that just wants to get to its next chase or shootout, for “Perpetrator,” it can feel like the storyline is an afterthought to show some blood.

Now, yes, we learn who the kidnapper is, about Jonny’s parents, and how the kidnapper chooses their targets, but the why of anything is rather weak. The same goes for when you want more information about this power Aunt Hildie says is part of the family and other families. Anything that could call for a microscope, follow-up questions, or lingering too long on something that requires explanation is set aside for it gets in the way of showing pools, or a literal pool, of blood.

General Information

Director(s) Jennifer Reeder
Screenplay By Jennifer Reeder
Based On N/A
Date Released (Film Festival – Tribeca Film Festival) June 11, 2023
Genre(s) Action, Comedy, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
Film Length 1 Hour 41 Minutes
Content Rating Not Rated
Noted Characters and Cast
Jonny Kiah McKirnan
Hildie Alicia Silverstone
Jean Melanie Liburd

Things To Note

Why Is “Perpetrator” Rated Not Rated

  • Dialog: Some cursing
  • Violence: Blood (So Much Blood), and fight scenes
  • Sexual Content: Two characters do get intimate, but nothing notable happens
  • Miscellaneous: Conversations About A Miscarriage

You can also check out our movies page for more recommendations and find our latest movie reviews.

FAQs

Why Is the Film Called “Perpetrator?”

You can correlate the title of the movie with the kidnapper, who isn’t given a name.

How Was The Twist(s) and Ending?

It’s a bit weak, but it goes with the film’s tone.

Is There A Mid-Credit or Post Credits Scene?

No

Jonny (Kiah McKirnan)
Perpetrator (2023) – Movie Review and Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Perpetrator,” like some horror films, gets in its own way by choosing blood and what could be shocking over its story and characters.
Highlights
The Humor
Disputable
How It Rushes Through Character Development & Story
76

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