Perfect Prey (1998)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  10 July 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 315 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

A former Texas Ranger (McGillis) is recruited by a Houston police captain (Dern) to assist a homicide detective (Moffett) in the search for an elusive serial killer (David) who collects antique dolls.


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Credited cast:
Audrey Macleah
Capt. Swaggert
Detective Jimmy Cerullo
Dwayne Alan Clay
Elizabeth Crane
Detective Bevlan
Detective Footman
T.J. Kennedy ...
Captain Dan Feagler (as Mike Kennedy)
Investigator Lyons
C.C. Pulitzer ...
Janette Leary
Patricia Atkins
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mrs. Leary
Deputy #2


Forensic psychologist and ex-Texas Ranger Dr. Audrey MacLeah assists the police in the case of a serial killer who abducts women and holds them for a short time before he kills them. As the doll-obsessed killer hunts his next prey, MacLeah deals with inter-agency politics and her own tortured memories. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | Thriller


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Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When the Bough Breaks II: Perfect Prey  »

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Did You Know?


Some dolls were made by Bailey Clark and Margaret Wolf, others were from their private collections. See more »


When Clay is preparing to kill Elizabeth Crane he puts lipstick on before he puts the plastic bag over her head. When he is approaching her with the bag and the camera films him through the bag he no longer has the lipstick on. See more »


Remake of When the Bough Breaks (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad. Worth a couple of hours of anyone's time.
12 May 2001 | by (Gateshead, England) – See all my reviews

Described as a TV movie, I don't know whether "Perfect Prey" was planned as a TV pilot. Far worse have been deemed suitable for series production. I don't think this watchable piece of work got the exposure it deserved when it first appeared. This is a better than average serial killer thriller. The main characters are certainly well cast.

Kelly McGillis is a natural as the troubled but intelligent and determined investigator, Audrey Maclean. David Keith's performance as the handsome, persuasive killer is chilling. Watching him, you can truly believe that evil is abroad and relishing the suffering of its victims. Bruce Dern does well with the part of Captain Swaggert, with murders on his hands he knows are beyond the abilities of his team to solve without the fresh eye of outside help. Interested viewers will, I'm sure, enjoy the contrast in characterization between Dern's lawman in this movie and his marvellously venal sheriff in "Last man Standing". Last but by no means least, D W Moffett shows real style with his Detective Jimmy Cerullo.

There's a pleasing professionalism about the rest of the cast, who aren't well known. Their work helps to ensure an enjoyable movie. Particularly worth a mention is the young actress given the thankless role of the murder victim in the pink dress. With her body propped up against a nodding donkey, her frozen eyes allow a peek into hell for the imaginative movie watcher. The feeling of brooding sadness in the scene surfaces at various times during the duration of the film, and adds considerable atmosphere.

The movie is effectively directed by Howard McCain and nicely scripted by Robert McDonnell. There's some neat editing by Hanneh Rudkilde. The rest of the crew weren't asleep on the job either. What really damages "Perfect Prey" is the marked resemblance of the plot to that of "The Silence of the Lambs", which many of its potential audience will have seen. In my opinion Kelly McGillis is a more believable investigator than the otherwise admirable Jodie Foster, but that, as they say, is neither here nor there.

It's worth a look, seek it out next time you intend making the sofa look untidy for a couple of hours.

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