Morgan (Ingrid Jungermann) and Jean (Ann Carr) host a radio show/podcast all about exalting female serial killers. They also used to be girlfriends, but split up and now have a close but dysfunctional relationship. Indeed, they’re pretty much co-dependent, despite not being lovers any longer.
Then Morgan starts dating a new woman, the mysterious Simone (Sheila Vand). While she’s smitten with her new love, others aren’t quite sure about her, including Jean. Initially Morgan thinks her ex just doesn’t want her to be happy, but then she starts noticing that there are definitely some strange things about her girlfriend. As there’s a serial killer lurking somewhere out there, could Simone somehow be connected?
It’s a plot that sounds like it could be a horror, thriller or perhaps a raucous comedy, but the film actually sits at the more dramedy end of the spectrum. The serial killer angle is used more as a lens through which to view the relationships between the women, as it explores the complexities of Morgan and Jean’s friendship, which at times seems toxic and at others held together by the sort of love many of us aspire to.
Writer/director/star Ingrid Jungermann brings a lot of thought to the film, and a genuine female lesbian perspective that feels truer than it often does to real women’s experiences than many lesbian-themed film (even if most women aren’t major fans of serial killers).
Many will also enjoy the cameo from Annette O’Toole as a locked-up multiple murderer. She seems to be having great fun as a woman who can be sweet and nice one moment, and then lusting for blood the next.
Unfortunately, after a lot of fun and a good set-up, the movie does slightly come unstuck towards the end. While it does make sense for what the film is trying to say about friendships, relationships and lovers, as well as providing a decisive moment for Morgan to decide what she really needs in her life, it is also a bit hyperbolic and messy, and doesn’t feel like it’s been done with the same care as what’s gone before.
It’s not too much of a problem, and to be honest after all the talks of serial killers, if something dramatic didn’t happen, it would probably have felt a little anti-climactic. However, the film is at its best when it’s providing a wry, knowing perspective on these women’s lives, their fears, worries and the things that stand in the way of their happiness. It’s a smart script that doesn’t shy away from the personal failings of the characters, and it’s all the better for it.
Overall Verdict: While the ending could be better, Women Who Kill takes a sharp look at the relationships between women, and the things that stand in the way of them being their best.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac