The new trailer for Michelle Danner's sophomore directorial effort "Hello Herman" plays like a mashup of "Capote," "American History X," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Fight Club." That's a good thing.
"The Walking Dead"'s Norman Reedus stars here as an elite journalist with a haunted past, in a chronicle of a particularly devastating school shooting. Herman, the perpetrator of the massacre, is played by newcomer Garrett Backstrom, whose hairless cheeks and palpable desire to be taken seriously evince more than a passing likeness to Justin Bieber. "I'm not the average 16-year-old," Herman tells Lax (Reedus), whom he has singled out for access to his story. "I'm America's worst nightmare."
Herman's rage appears to have grown from a now-predictable history of playground bullying and locker room torment, but the origins of Lax's demons — if his bare-knuckle fighting and swastika tattoo are any indication — might just be a sight more complex.
Audiences can judge this troubled pair for themselves this Saturday, when "Hello Herman" premieres at the Hollywood Film Festival in Los Angeles.