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Contrary to what several users have written, "Copycat"
_not_ "Silence of the Lambs 2". Nor is it a rip-off of
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
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.
It all starts with Dr. Helen Hudson(Weaver) giving a lecture on serial
killers, little knowing that she's about to have an encounter with one.
After her lecture is over she visits the restroom, and is attacked by one
Daryll Lee Cullum(Connick). Flash forward 13 months. We see Hudson yet
again, but this time she's confined to her apartment. You see, she's now an
agoraphobic, having retired after that fateful day. At the local police
precinct detectives M.J. Monahan(Hunter) and Ruben Goetz(Mulroney) are
tracking a killer of their own, played by William McNamara. He appears to be
mimicing the MO's of various famous serial killers. Hudson hears about this
over the radio and calls the precinct with some information. She speaks to
Monahan, who thinks it's a crank call. Monahan and Goetz pay a little visit
to Hudson's residence, carrying with them photographs of the recent crime
scenes. Hudson determines the killer is indeed copying other serial killers.
A while later, an unseen visitor breaks into her apartment, leaving the
dress she was wearing the day she was attacked by Cullum neatly spread out
on her bed. Her home is no longer safe. Monahan and Goetz have dragged her
back into the world she tried to leave behind. Now Hudson must help the
detectives catch the copycat before she becomes the next
Realistic in just about every aspect, Copycat is right up there with Silence of the Lambs. Comparisons to Seven are not unwarrented, but the plot here is more believable. A very good cast, with Weaver giving one of the best perfomances of her career. Hunter and Mulroney are also excellent. The film is provided a very tense and terrifying atmosphere, thanks to director Jon Amiel. It doesn't need to wallow in needless violence and gore, because it has what every great Thriller needs: suspense on an epic scale. The violence is kept to a minimum, but what it contains can be a bit unsettling, if for no other reason than because we get to know how the killer thinks. Along the same lines, Weaver's portrayal of an agoraphobic is perfect. You don't have to imagine what Weaver is feeling when she steps out of her apartment, or what the killer is feeling while he murders his victims. You feel every bit of it, which is why this film succeeds so masterfully.
Copycat is that rare film that comes along every other year or so that has the ability to pull you into it. It takes you on a most terrifying journey into the mind of a serial killer and the doctor that understands him. I can't say anything more, except that I love this film. Hitchcock would've been proud.
From the opening scene, Sigourney Weaver (Helen Hudson) gives a stunning
performance as a criminal psychologist going on to battle with Post
Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Her character is excellently portrayed with all
the mood swings, panic attacks and ups and downs of a person fighting
depression. She is backed up with another excellent lead character courtesy
of Holly Hunter (Detective M J Monahan) who proves that attractive young
actresses really can play a serious part well if they have the talent - a
talent Holly Hunter has no problems expressing.
The plot is well written and takes you on the roller-coaster race against time (well is IS a suspense movie after all) as the homicide department are desperately trying to catch a copycat serial killer before he emulates any more infamous murderers. Attention to detail is impressive in the producing of this movie and the lead actresses are backed up my and excellent supporting cast with Dermot Mulroney providing Hunter with the dashing detective sidekick Ruben Goetz. The viewer is drawn to start thinking along the same lines as the lead characters and twists in the plot ensure that you don't get it all right ahead of the storyline.
Highly recommended for a night in. Dim the lights and settle down for almost 2 hours of quality entertainment.
The serial killer genre is one that became popular after "Silence of
the Lambs," and since then the only ones that have really stuck out are
"Se7en," "Copycat" and "Saw." "Copycat" is about a psychologist who
lectures students on serial killers, and one day finds herself to be a
victim at one of her speeches. Attacked in the bathroom, she narrowly
escapes death and becomes a social recluse in the years that follow --
living through the Internet, anonymously chatting on Internet chat
rooms and so on and so forth.
Until the terror begins again, this time involving not only the ex-pschologist (Sigourney Weaver) but also a cop played by Holly Hunter.
"Copycat" was much better than I thought it would be. I originally saw it on TBS years ago; I remember the ads claiming it would be on, but for some reason the rights fell through and it didn't air for another month or so... through this time period I hadn't heard anything about the film, but within the very first few minutes I instantly knew it was going to be much better than the standard "Silence" rip-off.
I may be alone here (and trust me, I know it) but I enjoy this more than "Silence of the Lambs," which kind of bores me at times. "Copycat" is dark and unexpectedly intelligent -- it is also perfectly cast. Weaver is fine (if unexceptional) whereas Hunter's macho-female traits are put into play perfectly by her casting as a cop.
The killer in the movie is played by Harry Connick Jr., and even he does a good job, which is saying quite a lot.
The movie has unexpected twists and is very clever in its own right. It is undoubtedly influenced (heavily) by "Silence of the Lambs" but is successful in the way it adds its own qualities to the mix -- much like "Se7en" this is a serial killer movie cashing in on the success of "Silence," but not necessarily stealing its content.
Very surprised. Catch it if you can.
This is an overlooked, intelligent, frightening thriller. It poses a
sick, shrewd serial killer against a brilliant psychologist/writer/professor
(Weaver) and an attractive team of cops.
Weaver delivers an outstanding performance as the brilliant agorophobic
(sp.?) who has been emotionally devastated by a prior run-in with a serial
Offers a clif's notes review of the century's major serial killers, constant
tension, crisp writing and outstanding performances. In short, it is a very
good, very scary movie, and you should see it it you haven't yet.
Personally, I also think Weaver looks fabulous. Brains and beauty and character. Nice combination.
Definitely a film that will have you on the edge of your seat, if not hugging it as closely as possible. Copycat tells the story of a serial killer psychologist(wonderfully played by Sigourney Weaver), slowly working her way from phobias due to an attack from a serial killer, working with the law(serviceably played by a cute Holly Hunter) in search of a serial killer that kills in the previous styles of former serial killers. The murderer uses old photos and the books of Weaver to recapture the "essence" of each brutal killing. Murders are done ala Albert DeSalvo, Son of Sam, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and others. The film is very fascinating and yet very twisted too. The killer is played with such conviction by William McNamara. Another killer in prison(the one that attacked Weaver) is played with unusual repulsivenes by Harry Connick Jr. The real star here is the script which has unusual intelligence for such subject matter. There is a good deal of violence, yet a subtle humour pervades much of the discussion between the cops and even Weaver and Hunter in a few scenes. But the thrill aspect of the film...the raw suspense...steers the picture from beginning to end. Hunter and Weaver(particularly) do incredible jobs in their roles, and I was impressed with the film as a whole.
This is the BEST thriller ever made. I know, everyone will crucify me for saying this, but I was bored by much of "Se7en." I think that "Copycat" is far superior. As for "Silence of the Lambs," comparisons - yes they are similar (with one convicted killer aiding people in catching another killer at large), and "Lambs," is naturally amazing (it deserved its Oscar), though it is not as scary as "Copycat." For some reason, "Copycat" struck the right chord with me. The small details of the killings are so clever and creepy, and they add to the atmosphere wonderfully. Sigourney Weaver is in one of the greatest roles of her career (though she is always fantastic), as is the remarkable Holly Hunter (who also provides some humor). Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara and Harry Connick Jr. round out the fine cast. However, in addition to the powerful female leads, it is the story that drives this movie. I was so hooked by it, and every twist had me on the edge of my seat. It is both terrifying AND well-made. And the score! I can't even begin to say how beautiful and haunting the music is. This is one movie I am very happy to own.
A serial killer is claiming victims in the style of other killers from
the recent past, homicide detective (Holly Hunter) needs the help of a
noted criminal psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) if she is going to catch
this killer. The trouble is she is an agoraphobic recluse haunted by
The characters build nicely as the story moves along at a steady pace, Weaver and Hunter both capture their characters very well and they are supported convincingly by Dermot Mulroney, William McNamara, Harry Connick Jnr. and Will Patton.
Copycat is full of suspense and intrigue, and it is a really solid film in every respect; it doesn't have the style or the punch of films like Seven and Silence of the Lambs, but it is definitely well worth watching.
Sigourney Weaver plays Dr. Helen Hudson, a retired psychiatrist that specializes in serial killers. Hudson is agoraphobic and suffers with different degrees of stress and depression. Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney are detectives trying to catch a serial killer. Harry Connick, Jr. plays a serial killer behind bars and taunts Hudson as she tries to help the investigators. The killer wants his own fame for duplicating famous murders. The background score will help your nerves jitter. Hunter is not convincing as a police officer. Mulroney's character is as bold as cardboard. Connick, Jr. is quite funny in a cynical way. Weaver conveyed her character's fear and anxiety. And without a change of expression, was bribed out of a pair of her frilly panties in exchange for information about the killer's identity. Dim the lights and enjoy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Copycat" is a surprising good serial-killer thriller, that perhaps is
not the most original movie around but its definitely one of the better
The movie is well written, with a solid story, main characters and a couple of nice twists. At the beginning you don't really know what the movie is going about and everything is build up in a good, non-forced or overdone way. In the beginning its still a mystery who's behind the killings and it even is subtly implied that the killers could be one of the cops, or one of the other characters in the movie. The movie however takes a twist when it fully shows the killer, his preparations and his actions. The movie is at times told completely from the killers point of view. This works surprisingly effective and it doesn't ruin the tension or mystery of the movie, in any way.
What makes the movie effective and also in a way distinctive is that the main characters of the movie are two female characters. They are being portrayed by about the two strongest female leading Hollywood ladies of the moment; Sigourney Weaver and Holly Hunter. They are two strong and independently, different from each other characters that know to carry the movie. The movie also has an excellent supporting cast with Harry Connick Jr. in a disturbing role, Will Patton and the fairly unknown William McNamara as the killer of the movie. The fact that he isn't as well known as an actor perhaps makes his character work out all the better.
I have yet to see a Jon Amiel movie that is original on its own. His movies always heavily 'borrow' from other movies in the same genre. He's a real 'copycat' himself you may say. "Copycat" is really no exception to this but it this case it didn't bothered me since the execution of it all was superb and effective.
The movie is basically good and tense from start till finish, due to a good pace, interesting well written and developed characters and a good overall build up. The movie perhaps at the end turns into a bit of a formulaic and simple one but it doesn't really downgrade the movie in any way. It all makes this movie one of the better genre movies of the last couple of years. The movie has basically everything in it that is needed to make a good thriller.
The movie is good looking with an overall nice visual style, some nice cinematography, nimble editing and a suiting musical score from composer Christopher Young.
A simply great genre movie, that deserves some more recognition and that holds up surprising well against other classic genre examples such as "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en".
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