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Women Who Kill, the exceptional debut film from Ingrid Jungermann, is a smart, female-driven, refreshingly original dark comedy

Love isn’t romance, it’s survival.”

We have all been there…in a new rela­tion­ship and expe­ri­enc­ing how it affects not just us, but our fam­i­ly and friends. But I’m pret­ty sure most of us haven’t won­dered whether our new love inter­est is a famous ser­i­al killer who has start­ed knock­ing off our friends. Well, actu­al­ly, my ex-hus­band was a lit­tle crazy and a stalk­er, but…. sor­ry, I digress.

Women Who Kill

In Writer/Director Ingrid Jungermann’s dark com­e­dy thriller, Women Who Kill, our lead char­ac­ter Mor­gan (also Junger­mann) has some seri­ous anx­i­ety about her new girl­friend Simone, played by Sheila Vand (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night). Mor­gan is afraid of com­mit­ment, but ignores the warn­ing from her friends not to jump into a rela­tion­ship with the beau­ti­ful, mys­te­ri­ous and secre­tive Simone, whom she just met.

Com­pli­cat­ing the sit­u­a­tion more is the fact that she still lives with her ex-girl­friend Jean. They also co-host a pop­u­lar true-crime pod­cast pod­cast togeth­er, and they both hap­pen to be com­plete­ly obsessed with female ser­i­al killers. There lies the prob­lem, some of the com­e­dy, and where the name of their show — and the name of the movie — orig­i­nates from.

Women Who Kill

The sto­ry is built around the awk­ward rela­tion­ship of Jean and Mor­gan, still liv­ing and work­ing togeth­er after break­ing off the love rela­tion­ship. It doesn’t real­ly show how they sur­vive finan­cial­ly on just the pod­cast (they don’t seem to have oth­er pay­ing jobs), and they do seem to have way too much time on their hands to rumi­nate about the world around them. Jean and Mor­gan still seem to have feel­ings for each oth­er. But when Mor­gan meets Simone, her infat­u­a­tion takes the front seat.

When Jean shows Mor­gan proof that Simone may not be who she says she is, Mor­gan accus­es Jean of try­ing to ruin the best thing that’s ever hap­pened to her. But as she and Simone begin to tran­si­tion into a more com­mit­ted rela­tion­ship, Mor­gan starts to notice red flags that con­vince her Jean might be right. Maybe Simone is hid­ing a dead­ly secret. Or, per­haps, Morgan’s severe com­mit­ment pho­bia is what’s real­ly spook­ing her.

Women Who Kill

The two roomies inves­ti­gate Simone as if she were a sub­ject of their pod­cast, where they uncov­er dis­turb­ing clues; a death at the Food Co-op, a miss­ing friend, a secret locked box, and poten­tial­ly incrim­i­nat­ing evi­dence. All the pieces of the puz­zle lead them to sus­pect the dead­ly beau­ty of not only one mys­te­ri­ous death, but many! Are Jean and Mor­gan just para­noid? Or is Simone some­one who might be a reg­u­lar sub­ject on their show, “Women Who Kill”?

The film is cre­ative­ly shot and has the feel­ing of a Woody Allen type movie (Think Man­hat­tan Mur­der Mys­tery).

With a very intel­li­gent­ly writ­ten screen­play by Junger­mann, the char­ac­ters are very believ­able with­out going too far into being stereo­typ­i­cal tropes or car­i­ca­tures. You real­ly feel like you get to know the cast by the end of the film. The focus most­ly stays on the inter­est­ing, mul­ti-dimen­sion­al char­ac­ters. And, even though there’s a strong empha­sis on LGBT rela­tion­ships, it’s not used just for effect or to make a state­ment. The rela­tion­ships feel real, and we start to care about all the char­ac­ters.

Occa­sion­al­ly a bit vague, the script nev­er becomes too ambigu­ous (although some­times slight­ly con­fus­ing). The shots of New York neigh­bor­hoods are nice, and the set­ting in upscale Brook­lyn makes me nos­tal­gic for the East Coast.

Women Who Kill is the first fea­ture film by Ingrid Junger­mann, who wrote, direct­ed and stars in it.

Junger­mann had the fol­low­ing to say in regards to the film:

It is an hon­or to work with Film­Rise and The Film Col­lab­o­ra­tive, and we are all thrilled to share WOMEN WHO KILL with audi­ences every­where. I want­ed to make a film that took my appre­ci­a­tion of clas­sic film gen­res — roman­tic come­dies, mys­ter­ies, and a dash of hor­ror — and twist it up into some­thing that resem­bles a height­ened ver­sion of my own life expe­ri­ence.”

The film has won numer­ous awards on the film fes­ti­val cir­cuit, and it real­ly high­lights Jungermann’s tal­ent. I look for­ward to see­ing great things from her in the future.

Interested in finding out more about Women Who Kill? Check out their Facebook Page or Website!

Editor’s Note: Women Who Kill was recent­ly fea­tured at the 2nd Annu­al Final Girls Berlin Film Fes­ti­val in Berlin, Ger­many. The fes­ti­val show­cas­es hor­ror films direct­ed, writ­ten, and/or pro­duced by women and non-bina­ry film­mak­ers.

Fes­ti­val co-direc­tor Sara Nei­dorf says, “The films we’re pre­sent­ing rel­ish in var­i­ous forms of resis­tance: dec­i­mat­ing tra­di­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tions of women in film; blur­ring bod­i­ly bound­aries; high­light­ing the per­ver­sions lurk­ing with­in the nuclear fam­i­ly struc­ture; con­tort­ing the con­ven­tions of romance; paint­ing bloody por­traits of revenge.” Co-direc­tor Eli Lewy adds, “The films screen­ing in FGBFF express women’s fan­tasies and fears in poignant, new ways, show­ing that hor­ror is fer­tile ground for fem­i­nist film­mak­ing.”

The fes­ti­val was kind enough to let us screen Women Who Kill, writ­ten and direct­ed by Junger­mann, a Brook­ly-based come­di­an who has a real affin­i­ty for the genre. And, while more dark com­e­dy than hor­ror, it’s a won­der­ful­ly unique and thor­ough­ly enter­tain­ing watch. And we at Mor­bid­ly Beau­ti­ful love films like this which cel­e­brate women and diver­si­ty in the genre.

With a smart script and a sol­id ensem­ble cast, includ­ing an out­stand­ing per­for­mance by Junger­mann her­self, we def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend you seek this one out at a film fes­ti­val or when it becomes wide­ly avail­able. 

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