A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Peter Sanderson
...
...
Capt. Frank Sedman
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Det. Andy Wagner
Codie Lucas Wilbee ...
David, 9 Years Old
Joshua Murray ...
Peter, 14 Years Old (as Josh Murray)
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Doctor
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Father
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Mother
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Grandmaster Lutz
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Jeremy Edmonds (as Ferdinand Mayne)
...
Erica Sanderson (as Katherine Isobel)
...
Newscaster
...
Debi Rutlege
...
Steve Nolan
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Storyline

A chess grandmaster is in a big tournament, and when his lover is found painted up and the blood drained out of her body he becomes a chief suspect. After he gets a call from the killer urging him to try and figure out the game, he cooperates with police and a psychologist to try and catch the killer, but doubts linger about the grandmaster's innocence as the string of grisly murders continues. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When genius becomes twisted...Murder becomes the ultimate game [uk video cover] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

22 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Face to Face  »

Box Office

Gross:

$923,418 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to Christopher Lambert's popularity in Europe, the film was released theatrically first in the UK, Asia and Australia before being sent to the theaters in the US. See more »

Goofs

When Capt. Sedman interviews Sanderson after the murder of Debi Rutlege he states that she is not listed in the directory. Yet when Kathy later goes through Sandersons directory to look for a pizza place there is an entry for Debi Rutlege which Sanderson has marked. See more »

Quotes

Kathy Sheppard: [On why the killer attacked her in the asylum] What if he came here because he's really a patient? An out patient?
See more »

Connections

Features Super Mario Bros. (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

I Put A Spell On You
Composed by Screamin' Jay Hawkins (as Hawkins)/Herb Slotkin (as Slotkin) (United Artists)
Performed by Carol Kenyon
Produced by Anne Dudley
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User Reviews

 
Excellent Suspense Thriller
1 April 2004 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

A psychopath uses the game of chess as a blueprint for a series of brutal murders, in this stylish 1992 film directed by Carl Schenkel. Cinematography, sound effects, scary music, and sparse dialogue combine to create an atmosphere of terror, suggestive of the "giallos" of Dario Argento.

We see the killer's black gloved hands; we see the flashlight shining in the darkened room of the next victim; we hear the killer's breathing through a mask. And in these scenes, absence of dialogue amplifies the surreal, menacing presence of the killer.

Suspense scenes alternate with scenes of mundane normalcy, which gives the viewer a chance to select the murderer from a pool of suspects whose behavior appear more or less normal. But beware; there are plenty of plot twists and false clues. The whodunit element kept me guessing and unsure; the film's suspense kept me fully engaged.

Acting quality is average. Diane Lane gives perhaps the most convincing performance of the bunch. My main criticism is the screenplay. In any murder mystery, the viewer needs enough information to have a fair chance at solving the whodunit puzzle. But in "Knight Moves", crucial details are left out. Also, several characters are poorly defined; we know almost nothing about them. Moreover, in several key scenes, the behavior of one of the main characters is not credible, given the story's underlying premise.

As a result, it's going to be almost impossible for the viewer to identify the killer, based solely on the plot. A script re-write, with more emphasis on character development, combined with the deletion of superfluous scenes would, I think, have made for a more satisfying whodunit puzzle.

Even so, I recommend "Knight Moves" as a most frightening and spine-tingling suspense thriller. For maximum effect, try watching it alone, in a mansion, at night with the lights turned out, during a thunderstorm.


7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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