The Prophet's Game (2000)
The Prophet has arrived in the ultimate playing ground... Los Angeles. It has taken an innocent childhood game and twisted it into a deadly match of wits, where the only prize is survival. Moving from city to city, The Prophet lures unsuspecting contestants into solving the riddles it supplies. If the contestants are wrong, somebody dies... somebody famous.
- The Prophet's Game involves a game master (the killer) giving out obscure clues to all of the players. It is a game among anonymous people with enigmas and riddles that prophesies the next victim. If you want the next victim to be saved you have to give the solution to the latest riddle you received. Of course the game is rigged. The players attempt to find out what dead celebrity the clues are referring so they can stay in the game. At least one player determines that some of the dead celebrities were not dead when the clue was given to them.
Vincent Swan (Dennis Hopper) is a retired veteran police investigator who becomes obsessed with catching a serial killer making his way down the West Coast. The Killer brings Swan into the investigation by sending him a postcard, similar to one used in the previous killings. When the killer begins doing his grisly work in Los Angeles, Swan leaves Seattle for L.A., though the local police regard him as a loose cannon and aren't so sure they want his help. The murderer enjoys playing cat and mouse with Swan, calling him to taunt him about the game, pulling him back into the investigation of new killings The killer gets some guarantee by menacing the players with some reprisal on some close relatives or friends. The method of operation turns out be a copycat of a serial killer in Seattle, who now-retired police detective Swan supposedly solved by killing the culprit. Swan decides to help the LA police who definitely do not want his help The riddles are obscure and the explanations are too quick for us to wonder what it really means and how they manage to get the solutions. The movie spirals into a personal conflict between Swan and the Killer and several celebrities die along the way. Swan eventually enlists the assistance of one of tthe Homocide detectives assigned to the case (Stephanie Zimbalist) and one of the players who realizes that the victims are still alive at the time the clues are delivered.
For the final clue The Prophet gives clues that lead Swann to realize HE is the next victim. He gives teh player the wrong answer which lets him out of the game. The Prophet then calls Swan to tell him the detective is a captive and will be the next victim unless he comes to meet the Prophet. The prophet turns out to be the sister of the first killer, who Swan believed had raped and murdered his daughter as a twisted part of the firstgame. The brother and sister were both in on the kidnappings and killings. a struggle ensues, Swan tricks the Prophet and eventually gains the advantage. Rather than killing the Prophet, he wounds her, giving her life in a mental prison.