"In July 2006, aspiring journalist Martin Monahan was reported missing.
The police search of Monahan's home uncovered his most recent project:
the first interview with a serial murder not held in captivity. Five
days later, authorities received the following footage." These words as
constructed on title cards are what catapult Killer View (also known as
'Snuffed') onto the screen. The film, written and directed by Brian
O'Connell, is an interesting documentary style look into the life of an
anonymous serial killer. The movie splices between criminal and
murderous acts being committed by our lead and candid interviews
conducted between himself and journalist Martin Monahan.
Giving some raw answers to some raw questions (we learn he moved to
L.A. because "sharks go where the fish are"), we get a rare glimpse
into the mind of a serial killer unlike any of the Hollywood attempted
serial killer movies of the same ilk. In Killer View, the monster is
articulate and sane. He is smart and scoffs at how serial killers are
generally portrayed in the media and how some of them (Gacy) would
dress up like buffoons to near their prey.
Monahan follows his subject and continues filming through the most
heinous of crimes which eventually culminate in a home invasion that
terrorizes two women and a troubled husband.
An independent film, Killer View shuns a linear timeline to give a dark
and unpolished look to a film that gets into the dark corners of where
a predator lurks. The focus of the documentary is fascinating in that
he (Ben, an alias given to the killer) is so openly frank about his
profession and his feelings towards his vocation (he sells video tapes
of his killings to rich investors).
Director Brian James O'Connell makes some interesting choices in
letting us know the interviewer was killed in a title card in the
film's opening moments and with mixing both action shots with a
sit-down interview style a la 60 Minutes.
The result is a generally worthy entry into the horror/independent film
scene. It was like a Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer done in
grindhouse fashion by Stone Phillips of NBC's Dateline. We are thankful
we cannot report that it is the most realistic serial killer portrayal
ever put on film. That would suggest that we know a serial killer
personally. But we do think it is likely a portrait more accurate to
how a killer integrates within society and with communicates with
others. After all, Ted Bundy was an incredibly articulate man.
The final chapter of the film took away some of the momentum. A Bureau
investigator/detective is interviewed about the case and the add on
just doesn't feel right or flow with the rest of the film.
But don't let the final moments distract you from searching out Killer
View. It joins a short line of independent horror films that brought a
fresh and interesting view to a tired genre to the screen and audiences
will be sure to appreciate it.
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