In San Francisco, the criminal psychologist Helen Hudson is specialized in serial-killers. During a trial, the accused Daryll Lee Cullum kills a police officer and tries to kill her and she becomes agoraphobic. Now Helen lives a reclusive life with her gay friend Andy that helps her. Sometime later, there is a wave of crimes and Detectives M.J. Monahan and Reuben Goetz are investigating the murder cases. Helen identifies that the murderer is copycatting notorious serial-killers and she anonymously contacts the Police Department. After fourteen phone calls, she is identified by the police. Detectives M.J. and Reuben visit her and Helen teams up with them and prepares the profile of the killer that wants to be famous. But soon the copycat killer Peter Foley contacts and stalks Helen and M.J. and Reuben give protection to her. Will they be capable to stop Foley before the next murder?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies. See more »
(at around 16 mins) In the bathroom crime scene there are two candles burning. M.J. asks the coroner for the time of death, which he claims to be eight hours ago. It is unlikely that the candles could have been burning for such a long time. See more »
Daryll Lee Cullum:
Dear Conrad: Thank you for your letter. Praise the Lord. I know you must be so happy that He chose to spare Dr. Hudson. The Big Guy moves in mysterious ways, don't He? It just so happens I'm awaiting the arrival of a pair of genuine Helen Hudson undies... signed personal to me. A real collector's item, I'm sure you know. They're yours. But don't forget, a disciple must be strong... if he is to succeed where others fail. Peter strayed from the path and the Lord smote him good. So keep it simple....
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Italian video version tones down most of the violence; most notably, Darryl Lee Cullum is not shown slitting the policeman's throat in the prologue. See more »
Contrary to what several users have written, "Copycat" is _not_ "Silence of the Lambs 2". Nor is it a rip-off of "Se7en", or an exploitation flick, or any other negative labels that have been foisted upon it. Rather, it's a gripping, and largely intriguing thriller that succeeds thanks to performances by two confident female leads, competent direction, intelligent writing, and an appropriately foreboding score courtesy of Christopher Young, who's fast becoming one of my favorite film composers.
Sigourney Weaver hits the right notes as the agoraphobic psychiatrist, especially early on, as we see the depths to which she has shut herself off from the outside world, creating her own safe little corner. Holly Hunter, in a role that instantly brings to mind Jane Craig from "Broadcast News", is effective as the investigating detective. Hers is a performance that is three-dimensional and fully-realized.
If there's a weakness in the film, it's the ongoing beef between Ruben and Nico. It's a meritless p***ing contest stemming from one character's jealousy, and could've easily been dropped or retooled. This small gripe, however, didn't deter my enjoyment of the film.
Much credit has to be given to director Jon Amiel ("Sommersby", "Entrapment") for effectively capturing the atmosphere and tension prevalent throughout the film. In addition, writers Ann Biderman and David Madsen deserve credit for a intelligent, well-researched screenplay. No clichés here, just sharply-crafted dialogue. And Christopher Young's inspired score is brilliant; just listen to the theme that plays early on, as Helen calms down after a panic attack.
"Copyat" may not be classic material, but it's a strong entry in a genre that's too often consumed by formulas and gore. Highly recommended.
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