When it comes to horror, everyone loves a good serial killer. As weird as that sounds, it’s true. Horror also loves to adapt the stories of real life murderers into movies and TV shows, although that often earns disgust and derision for glamorizing monsters.
One of the most – if not the most, I haven’t worked out the stats myself – adapted psychopaths is Charles Manson, infamous cult leader of his Manson Family. and the man who orchestrated multiple murders in California during the summer of 1969.
Multiple actors have portrayed Charles Manson onscreen over the decades since, including Steve Railsback, Gethin Anthony, Jeremy Davies, and Evan Peters. Now, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith gets added to that list via 2019’s Charlie Says.
While Smith’s casting as Manson is generating the most buzz, it’s important to note that Charlie Says is actually not about him, and instead about his Manson Girls, played by Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendon, and Suki Waterhouse.
IFC Films scored the U.S. distribution rights to Charlie Says, and plans to release the film on May 10th. It will get a limited theatrical release initially, then later roll out nationally. For what it’s worth, early reviews from festival screenings are mixed.
Notably, Charlie Says represents a behind the scenes reunion from the 2000 cult classic American Psycho. Both director Mary Harron and writer Guinivere Turner participated in the making of Charlie Says, which has me a bit intrigued already.