The Night Stalker (TV Movie 2016) Poster

(2016 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
12 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
5/10
needs more intensity
SnoopyStyle4 August 2017
It's 2013. Kit (Bellamy Young) needs to get a confession from imprisoned killer Richard Ramirez (Lou Diamond Phillips) in San Quentin to exonerate her client scheduled to be executed in Texas in four days. Ramirez is a Satanist with fans, one of them being his adoring wife. There are flashbacks to teen Kit during the Night Stalker paranoia in the 1985 Los Angeles area as well as Ramirez's troubled life.

LDP has a good scraggly serial killer vibe but the interviews lack the scary horror intensity. The flashback structure doesn't allow for greater tension. Kit's journey does have a nice reveal but it may work better if the journey starts with a closer relationship to her client. The movie is simply missing something.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Lou Diamond Phillips performance was wasted in this fictional lawyers account
Ed-Shullivan24 February 2018
Lou Diamond Phillips stellar performance as the serial killer Richard Ramirez was simply wasted playing opposite actress Bellamy Young who plays a fictional lawyer named Kit (Katherine) whose own life was supposedly haunted by the real Richard Ramirez's 1980's killing spree as the infamous Night Stalker as she lived in the California area.

Yes, the majority of incidents described as happening in Richard Ramirez's teens and the film's killings outlined in this fictional biopic actually occurred and are attributed to Richard Ramirez's murderous spree. However, this film focuses on Ramirez's time in captivity and his interactions with the female lawyer Kit, who meets with Ramirez over four (4) consecutive days in an attempt to record a confession for a double murder that another man will be executed for committing if Ramirez will not admit to being the actual perpetrator.

The fictional drama occurs as Kit is reliving her own teen years while the Night Stalker is all over the news during his late evening robbery, rape and vicious murder spree. Kit has her own demons to live with and the interview scenes between Kit and the shackled Richard Ramirez (Lou Diamond Phillips) are worth watching the film if for nothing else.

I hope the now 56 year old Lou Diamond Phillips is provided an opportunity to star in a few dramatic major motion pictures based on this outstanding role as the Night Stalker, because he has certainly paid his dues carrying more than one film on his own broad shoulders and raising the bar on his fellow actors/actresses to follow his lead. "Lead" being the key word.

I rate The Night Stalker a high 7 out of 10 on Lou Diamond Phillip's outstanding performance.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Nice Taut Tense Thriller
Stoshie15 February 2021
I'm going to agree with most of the written reviews here, and go against the overall score this movie got. I am usually very critical of TV movies, but this one was as good, or better, than most feature films.

I thought the acting was first-rate, and the direction was excellent, too. The movie had an aura of danger and suspense about it that most thrillers do not. Of course, that was aided by the foreboding music that lay beneath many of the scenes. But that's OK.

It also helped that the hero, if you want to call her that, was nearly as damaged as the bad guy. She had her own demons, and acted out in ways harmful to herself as a result of them. You don't often see that in these movies; usually the good guy is, well, good, and not nearly defined in depth as the one here was.

This was a good psychological thriller, with both main characters exhibiting deep flaws that are examined nicely.

I know the basic story of the Night Stalker was accurate; I don't know if the plot of the movie was, though. But still, it is very good.

My only complaint is regarding the credits, and has nothing to do with the movie itself. Here on IMDB Annalisa Cochrane as "Mary" gets top billing. That makes no sense; she is only in the movie for one brief scene. She isn't even close to being a main character. So why put her at the top of the cast credit?
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Brilliant Lou Diamond Phillips
aceellaway201019 December 2016
Lou Diamond Phillips gives a Brilliant and mesmerizing performance as Ramirez "The Night Stalker". It's a wonderfully sustained characterization, and deserves probably more attention that it will get. In truth it's an award winning performance and should be remembered at the time Emmy's are distributed. Unfortunately the female role is nowhere near as interesting. Whether this is a fault of the writer, director or the actress, she just seems so much less interesting than Phillips.

But Phillip's performance is so good, h never stoops to the obvious and makes no effort to ingratiate himself or the part he's playing. I have never been a particular fan of his, but no I will pay more attention.
15 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
The Mark of the Stalker
KillerRomance25 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As a Horror/thriller/Suspense movie fan I do treat True Crime movies with a more discerning approach because they actually happened.

This movie is a fictionalised story between two characters in this portrayed production. Kit (Bellamy Young) is a single, unmarried Woman who embarks on a client's case to clear his name on a Mother and Son that were found murdered and Kit thinks Richard Ramirez the infamous Night Stalker (Lou Diamond Phillips) is linked to this crime. The visitations turn into a cat and mouse game as Kit finds a forgotten and deeper side to herself as Ramirez gets into her mind. Is she a victim herself or does she have a seedy and dark hidden past? All is revealed in this movie. There are flashbacks of Richard's past which was succinct.

The Set captures the claustrophobic and dungeon like death row cells of San Quentin, photography and camera angles are superb, Lou Diamond Phillips does a bravado performance and he can't go wrong with doing Richard's darkest and deepest violent sexual fantasies. The repetition of Richard Ramirez political and intellectual quotes that every true crime buff already knew about is in almost every line was a bit frustrating as the movie SPECK when the dialogue wasn't a script it was meshed quotes of different killers, the Night Stalker had everything that Ramirez said in every televised Interview and I longed for something different because he is a very interesting Guy to listen to and a more expansive script for Phillips would befit the fine performer that he is. Bellamy Young is not bad but she lacks to deliver in the final segments in the film, I felt Coleen Porch from Baby Blues (cradle will fall) would play the part because I imagined she would equalise Phillips dangerous side. Benjamin Barrett was good as the Teenage Ramirez but it seems like it was forcibly done in a rush which was a pity, he was absorbing and I wanted to see more of Barrett's performance.

The movie is good but not perfect. I look forward to watching a movie on Richard Ramirez full Biography like Dahmer and Bundy because the man's fateful, troubled and disturbing life is yet to be told plus there is not a film based on his life yet. Doesn't matter if you feel a kinship with Richard Ramirez or you despise him, he is still a fascinating person to watch even after his death.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Chilling and Sad
theredhairedcrow15 June 2016
Richard Ramirez, the Satan worshiping "Night Stalker", was someone whose crimes and life I was required to study years ago, one of other serial killers for a criminal justice class. He stood out at one of the more understandable, among the many I researched both from personal and academic interest, because of his background: traumatized in several ways from an early age. Ultimately, however, his crimes were horrendous, extreme and effectively should end any sympathetic tendencies towards him as a convicted criminal who confessed to many of his crimes.

Engrossing, chilling and brilliantly acted by Phillips, Ramirez was "Brought to life" with all his cold intelligence and vulnerabilities in place. The subtle expressions, or at times lack thereof, the shift of eyes, the sudden violence. I felt his performance wasn't quite matched by Bellamy Young, but she was entirely believable. She played the lawyer Katherine "Kit", trying to get a confession from him about a crime another was wrongly accused of. The film revolves around the conflict between the two, as she seeks to gain his trust to draw more details of his crimes, which he astutely ascertained, and he to gain something from her he was denied in prison: a female victim he could exploit for his own needs. He sensed vulnerabilities beneath her cool self-assured facade, and sought them out, whether from simple curiosity or true malignancy is for the viewer to decide.

Ramirez' history, his background and the traumas and events directly influencing what he became were shown through flashbacks, a wise choice considering Phillips age, and since he was portraying the killer shortly before his death. The young Ramirez' performance was okay, and the vaguely seen crimes and his eventual capture were understated but at the same time dramatic.

Though many details were left out about the crimes, and the most atmospheric part of the events: the intensity of the hot weather when most occurred was mostly absent, just references or dialogue. I felt that should have played more of a factor in filming, but overall "The Night Stalker" was well done. Rewatchable at least once, to catch nuances one may miss, a quick scene or glance from the characters eyes, I feel most viewers may be left with the truth of the matter. That it was a tragedy all around, absolutely for the victims, but also for Ramirez as a child and young teen. Sympathy for the terrorizing adult, a cruel rapist and murderer? No way.
18 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Yeah nah not so great
will-0519619 March 2018
The guy(s) who play Ramirez, both young and old, are pretty damn good. They don't quite glorify the man. The actor portrays a melodramatic vainglorious narcissist who is full of his own self-importance, intelligent but not the genius he imagines himself to be. That pretty much seems like the real Ramirez you see in interviews. The back-story is pretty accurate in terms of what happened in Ramirez's life. This isn't enough though to save it.

It was the chapter parts with the female lawyer that were kind of irritating. Found myself asking repeatedly "what does this have to do with Ramirez? She is in the park playing on the swing with her boyfriend - why!?!? And, um, she slept all night with her hand restrained in a leather cuff? Really. I get they are trying to give her character complexity and depth, ie "she has a dark side too!" but who cares, the movie is not called "Sexually Confused Female Lawyer", it is called "The Night Stalker".

The interview parts were like an attempt at a poor man's "Clarice vs Hannibal Lecter", not sure the point - the scenes were not as compelling or intelligent or insightful as the script writers or directors intended them to be. Boring stuff. Kept thinking "get on with it already".

I'm getting more convinced with time that there'll never be a better serial killer than (the original) Henry: portrait of a serial killer. They did that on a shoestring budget too.

The "Born to Kill" documentary on Ramirez is far more chilling (and insightful) than this film, but I hope it can serve as a break for Lou Diamond Phillips, he is a talent.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Dark story filmed in the dark
TKBlackburn18 December 2016
Writing & Directing sounds fun, but you control too much. You are blind to your own weaknesses without checks. This is why it takes a team to make a film.

Story is definitely dark, & the tone is appropriately dark.

However, much of the film is so dark it's not watchable. Pivotal scenes. I changed the settings on my very good TV to brighten up as much as possible. Didn't help enough. No idea what was happening in a few scenes.

Well told true story with a couple twists & turns. But there's too much dialogue in light scenes, & too much action in dark scenes.

One ominous note underscores nonstop from start to end.

Lou Diamond Phillips delivers as usual. Good performances, just a bit overshadowed by bad production decisions.
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Kits mother
lschwrk19 May 2020
It's strange Kits air head mother does not get a mention here in the cast, seeing she had a talking role in the movie.
0 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Quite a horrendous scene. Great to WRITE a screenplay.
billreinecke3 June 2018
Yea, GOOD Ol' Cali. This guy kills folks there, yet THOSE idiots make a movie that chalks it up to a bad upbringing. I had a bad childhood. NEVER KILLED anyone. Just understand that Hollywood defends EVIL. Their OWN. STORIES.
2 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Still, good to see Phillips getting work
billreinecke3 June 2018
AS THE MOST HATED MAN in Cali. Thought he could break through from 'Young Guns''. Lol.
0 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
666
jmiecar29 March 2021
Woohoo, im the unlucky 666th review!

Do i win a prize?

See you in Disney Land...
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed