Earl Brooks is a highly respected businessman and was recently named Portland's Man of the Year. He hides a terrible secret however: he is a serial killer known as the Thumbprint Killer. He has been attending AA meetings and has kept his addiction to killing under control for two years now but his alter ego, Marshall, has re-appeared and is pushing him to kill again. When he does kill a couple while they are making love, he is seen and photographed by someone who also has his own death and murder fetish. In a parallel story, the police detective investigating the murder is having problems of her own. She is going through a messy divorce and a violent criminal who had vowed revenge some years before has escaped from prison and is after her. Written by
There is a scene where signs for US highways 79 and 80 are
prominently shown. Neither highway is anywhere near Portland, Oregon. (Coincidentally, Portland did at one time contain a segment of Interstate 80N, but it is doubtful that the filmmakers planned this to cover the goof; Interstate 80N was in no way related to US highway 80, and it was re-designated as Interstate 84 many years ago). Both US Route 79 and 80 run through Louisiana, where most of this movie was filmed. See more »
Mr. Earl Brooks:
Oh God... God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Why do you fight it so hard, Earl?
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A thumbprint forms the backdrop for the end credits. See more »
I saw the trailer for this one, and thought it was an interesting premise, but Costner movies are so hit or miss. He's the LAST person on earth that I'd expect to be playing a serial killer. His demeanor is too gentle and even. WOW was I right, and that's what makes the movie. That slow, gentle, deliberate pace gives it a surreal sense of unease that a lesser actor couldn't match. It is exactly his everyman persona that makes this movie work.
In the tone of the movie, I was thrown by Costner's previous work as well. He's best known for somewhat light and under-realized fare. Mr. Brooks is anything but. This is a very, very dark movie, to the point that it's uncomfortable in places.
Kudos as well to William Hurt, who isn't known for playing this sort of role either. His character could easily descend into cliché, but it doesn't. He holds the right note, and the chemistry between him and Costner is tangible.
Over the top torture/gorefests have been the flavor of the month. Don't get me wrong -- I love High Tension and it's ilk, but it's nice to see a film that doesn't have to go for the visceral reaction to achieve it's tension. This is an assault to the mind, not the eyes, and it's exceptionally well done.
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