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Perpetrator Puts a Freaky New Spin on Teen-Girl Vengeance

Watch an exclusive clip from Jennifer Reeder's new feminist horror noir, hitting theaters and Shudder September 1.

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A young woman with blood on her face, looking angry, standing in a graveyard
Image: Shudder

“We have to keep it cool,” Jonny (Kiah McKirnan) insists in this clip from Jennifer Reeder’s new horror film Perpetrator. That request is difficult for the kid she’s with—because as you can clearly see, there’s something very weird about Jonny’s suddenly shape-shifting face.

Watch a Clip from Jennifer Reeder's Feminist Horror Noir Perpetrator
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Watch a Clip from Jennifer Reeder’s Feminist Horror Noir Perpetrator

This scene doesn’t tell you much about what Perpetrator is about, but here’s the full description: “Jonny Baptiste (Kiah McKirnan) is a reckless teen sent to live with her estranged Aunt Hildie (Alicia Silverstone). On her 18th birthday, she experiences a radical metamorphosis: a family spell that redefines her called Forevering. When several teen girls go missing at her new school, a mythically feral Jonny goes after the Perpetrator.”

Mythically feral, you say? That is a fascinating set-up, and—taken with the film’s visually arresting trailer, which you can see below—makes us very curious about Perpetrator. It’s written and directed by Reeder (who did the “Holy Hell” segment in V/H/S/94), and also stars Christopher Lowell, Melanie Liburd, Casimere Jollette, Ireon Roach, Sasha Kuznetsov, and Greta Stolte.


“It is often the case that young women with any kind of agency in their life are referred to as ‘wild’ or ‘out of control,’” Reeder wrote in a director’s statement accompanying the film’s press release. “These terms are meant to disparage or at least dismiss that young woman’s path. I wanted to make a proper genre film about a teen girl who actually becomes wild and out of control. Perpetrator is a celebration of the girl gone wild. This story is meant to acknowledge and amplify autonomy and agency among young women, and exists as an homage to lineage and what women inherit from each other over multiple generations.”

Perpetrator | Official Trailer | Shudder

Perpetrator hits select theaters and streams on Shudder starting September 1.

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