|Index||4 reviews in total|
The troubled teenager Owen Whitmore (Zachary Ray Sherman) has sleep
disorder and occasionally sleepwalks, and is under therapy with Dr.
Katherine Ramos (Svetlana Efremova). Owen has just joined the medical
school and has to move to another town, but he is divided between the
college and his sweetheart, Maggie (Haley Hudson). His parents Leona
(Lin Shaye) and Walter Whitmore (Richard Portnow) are very worried
about the situation. When Owen has violent dreams with Maggie, Dr.
Ramos decides to consult Dr. Jonas Julian (Ron Perlman), who is a
specialist in dream analysis and sleep disorder and is researching the
genetic mutation of evil. Meanwhile, people are protesting in front of
the Townsend State Prison where the infamous serial killer Dr. Eugene
"Mean Gene" Branch will be executed. Dr. Eugene is the son of another
serial-killer and has performed sadistic medical experiments in his
victims and after many postponements, will have his death penalty
finally executed. Out of the blue, the missing Marcia Freeman that
works at the Wydress Medical Clinic, the psychiatric facility where Dr.
Ramos and Dr. Julian also work, is found dead the way Owen had dreamt
and with the "modus operandi" of Dr. Branch. Dr. Julian reports to
Detective Marc Houlihan (Jason Hildebrandt) his suspects about Owen,
but the detective does not give credit to his words. When Dr. Ramos and
Walter Whitman are found dead, Owen becomes the prime suspect of the
"Killer by Nature" is an absurd, predictable and flawed thriller that has a terrible screenplay and acting. The story would be interesting with a better direction, cast and the most important, a higher budget. There are only a few characters; therefore it is not difficult to guess who might be the real killer. In times where forensic investigations have accurate perception of the crime scene, inclusive using DNA, it is ridiculous that Owen is not submitted to blood and DNA tests to know whether he is responsible or not for the deaths. The state prison looks like a mall or supermarket, where anyone can access and talk to a criminal in the death row. How could a famous psychotherapist be known by two different names The position of Leona, who does not believe in her son, seems to be a soap-opera instead of a deep family drama. Ron Perlman is a good actor for action movies, but never convinces as a psychotherapist. The unknown Haley Hudson is a promising actress, with her sweet face and I found her character fascinating. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Vocação Assassina" ("Assassin Vocation")
Poorly conceived and executed story line can't be saved by name-worthy cast. Perlman and Assante, both actors with long and respectable careers in film-making, are strange additions to this piece of crap. Either they are nearing the end of their careers or they, too, are just looking to make a buck in a still-recovering US economy. Either way, their talents are wasted in this film. The story, such as it is, has a young man who seems suspiciously related to a string of murders being committed in town. Through a series of tortured plots twists, all intended to bring life to a dull--and by now quite familiar--story line, the movie manages to loose itself in an absurd conclusion. Sorry, I can't even recommend this for an evening afflicted by boredom. Skip it!
If you invest the time to settle into the film, the story hooks you
into a thought provoking thriller that makes you go ..."hmmmm". It is a
character driven piece that does not incorporate tons of special
effects or computer graphics, just old fashioned storytelling that
thriller lovers will appreciate.
Perlman and Assante give the film a certain pedigree, but the movie's young stars carry the water and make you invest emotionally in the outcome. The surrounding cast cement the picture as a solid psychological thriller, though it failed to rise to the horror genre that it seems to have been marketed as. Better as a thriller I believe, as it is much deeper than the typical slasher film it may sound like.
The level of sophistication and depth may disappoint those programmed by the artwork to expect a brain dead teen horror, but I'm glad I allowed the setups to mature into the impressive little thriller I experienced.
I didn't know anything about this film and I wasn't expecting much. I
only watched it because I'm a fan of some of the actors and because it
was yet-to-be reviewed on IMDb.
Owen (Zachary Ray Sherman) is a teenage boy being plagued by vivid nightmares that usually involve random sleepwalks. They always seem to feature a young woman being drowned in a bathtub and then out comes the power-saw. Before too long the murders get closer to home and Owen soon becomes the prime suspect. His usual quack (Svetlana Efremova) brings in a different quack (Ron Perlman) and all of a sudden the sh*t hits the fan. Armand Assante portrays a cold-blooded killer on death row. You'll be speculating about the significance of his character for the first half of the film. Horror veteran Lin Shaye is on the ball as Owen's long- suffering mother, desperate to cure, or at least understand her sons bizarre sleeping disorder.
They do a good job of making you suspect everyone. Is Owen the killer? Could it be his geeky, yet sexy girlfriend? Could it be his mother? Surely Hellboy wouldn't be the killer? And how could Armand possibly get out of his cell every night?
Zachary Ray Sherman has the potential to make it as an A-list actor, although some of his lines do feel forced and tacky. It's hard to tell if it's his fault or the writers. He shares a scene with Armand that is certainly a highlight and both actors were in good form that day.
To sum up... Ron, Armand and Lin are doing their very best to make this low-budget chiller watchable. Haley Hudson plays Owen's weirdly attractive love interest. Her character is quite fascinating to watch, even though she seems to randomly fluctuate between virginal and sultry. Watch this face.
If you're in the mood for a thriller and it's slim pickings at your local video store, you could do a lot worse than Killer By Nature.
Check out my IMDb List for some better suggestions. "HORROR/THRILLER: Obscure, Overlooked & Underrated" http://www.imdb.com/list/8QFZ78e4Ar8/
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