This movie was not exactly what I was expecting. I thought it would be a more focused character study of Albert Fish - the kidnapper/murderer/cannibalizer of young children in New York City in the late 1920's-early 1930's. That angle isn't lost here. The movie opens with a depiction of Fish as an abused child in an orphanage, giving some insight into where he developed his sado-masochistic tendencies, but really this movie focused more on the police investigation into one case - the kidnapping, murder and cannibalizing of 10 year old Grace Budd. The Budd case was the one that eventually brought Fish down, and the movie really revolved around Police Detective William King, who headed the investigation into Budd's disappearance.
Fish seems to have been one of the earliest serial killers to prey on young children. The cannibal angle makes the case even more sensational. The movie, thankfully, isn't very graphic, although the details of exactly what was done to young Grace are talked about but not depicted. What we hear is very disturbing. As far as the Budd case is concerned, the movie seems to be a pretty accurate depiction of real events, but really the Budd case is the only one looked at in any detail, even though there were several other child killings that Fish was responsible for.
Patrick Bauchau was pretty convincing as Fish. He captured the part well - the guy was someone we would all think of as crazy, and yet he was sane enough to plan things out pretty methodically. And in a lot of respects he seemed pretty normal and trustworthy - making him even more frightening. Bachau did well. I wasn't entirely taken with Jack Conley as Det. King, and I found the depiction of Grace's mother (Jillian Armanante) to be strange. She was portrayed almost as being more interested in publicity than in her daughter. That may be true (everything else in this seems pretty accurate based on what I've read so I don't know why they writers would make that upon) but it still seems pretty strange to me.
Really, this provides a glimpse into the mind and one crime of a notorious serial killer. A little more depth and insight would have been necessary to make this a truly good movie. (6/10)
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