In San Francisco, the criminal psychologist Helen Hudson is specialized in serial-killers. During a trial, the accused Daryll Lee Cullum kills a police officer and tries to kill her and she becomes agoraphobic. Now Helen lives a reclusive life with her gay friend Andy that helps her. Sometime later, there is a wave of crimes and Detectives M.J. Monahan and Reuben Goetz are investigating the murder cases. Helen identifies that the murderer is copycatting notorious serial-killers and she anonymously contacts the Police Department. After fourteen phone calls, she is identified by the police. Detectives M.J. and Reuben visit her and Helen teams up with them and prepares the profile of the killer that wants to be famous. But soon the copycat killer Peter Foley contacts and stalks Helen and M.J. and Reuben give protection to her. Will they be capable to stop Foley before the next murder? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Years later, Sigourney Weaver would state that she was most proud of her work in this film. She worked hard to portray the mindset of an agoraphobic, and has regretted that the movie was lost in a shuffle of thrillers at the time and is not better remembered. See more »
According to Helen's database, the Son of Sam victim whose crime scene the killer used as model was named "Janis Fulkner" and she was killed on April 25, 1977. In real life, none of Berkowitz's victims had that name or were killed alone in a car, nor did he even kill on that date. See more »
He really wants us to think what he's doing is art.
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Contrary to what several users have written, "Copycat" is _not_ "Silence of the Lambs 2". Nor is it a rip-off of "Se7en", or an exploitation flick, or any other negative labels that have been foisted upon it. Rather, it's a gripping, and largely intriguing thriller that succeeds thanks to performances by two confident female leads, competent direction, intelligent writing, and an appropriately foreboding score courtesy of Christopher Young, who's fast becoming one of my favorite film composers.
Sigourney Weaver hits the right notes as the agoraphobic psychiatrist, especially early on, as we see the depths to which she has shut herself off from the outside world, creating her own safe little corner. Holly Hunter, in a role that instantly brings to mind Jane Craig from "Broadcast News", is effective as the investigating detective. Hers is a performance that is three-dimensional and fully-realized.
If there's a weakness in the film, it's the ongoing beef between Ruben and Nico. It's a meritless p***ing contest stemming from one character's jealousy, and could've easily been dropped or retooled. This small gripe, however, didn't deter my enjoyment of the film.
Much credit has to be given to director Jon Amiel ("Sommersby", "Entrapment") for effectively capturing the atmosphere and tension prevalent throughout the film. In addition, writers Ann Biderman and David Madsen deserve credit for a intelligent, well-researched screenplay. No clichés here, just sharply-crafted dialogue. And Christopher Young's inspired score is brilliant; just listen to the theme that plays early on, as Helen calms down after a panic attack.
"Copyat" may not be classic material, but it's a strong entry in a genre that's too often consumed by formulas and gore. Highly recommended.
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