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
This isn't actually a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination; it's just one of those films which loses focus and is never quite sure what it wants to be.
Basic outline - Sigourney Weaver plays a serial killer expert, haunted by her past, who is roped in by the police to guide them towards a serial killer operating in the city. The murderer is copying the M.O. of famous serial killers from the sixties, seventies and eighties.
The problem is that even though it is ostensibly - as its title suggests - a film about Copycat killers, it feels somewhat lightweight in the amount of 'copycatting' - it feels like a tame half-baked plot line, which is more focused on Sigourney Weaver's character's past horrors. The 'copycat' idea just feels so, so underplayed - the director doesn't really work off it, it's just a vaguely interesting aside by the final reel.
However, it must be said, Sigourney Weaver acts her socks off - she really does play an excellent role as an agoraphobic suffering with a chronic (understandable) case of PTSD. Holly Hunter also plays her role with gusto.
However, disappointingly, the perpetrator is 2d and meaningless; after the film spent the first 10, 20 minutes explaining that a serial killer can be 'just like you and me' they didn't then justify that at all, they just roped in a cartoon (overacted) nutter.
Too much is 'stock' - there is quite a jarring, wasted death which feels put in for the sake of ticking that Hollywood plot box. Police guards are literally the most useless in any film, ever. The scenes of the internet in its infancy are quite endearing, but do date the film terribly.
Yeah, overall, it just feels like a missed opportunity. It's hard to believe that this and the majestic 'Se7en' came out within a month of each other; one looks, feels and plays like mid-nineties Hollywood, the other is so much more.
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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