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The Alphabet Killer

May 12, 2010

The Alphabet Killer

The Alphabet Killer

This film tries to blend itself between true crime and horror, unfortunately it leans more to the horror aspect, which is where it fails.  The story is initially interesting as it starts with a double homicide and then moves into the realm of psychological horror film.  Visually it is solid, but it isn’t all that great.

It starts in Rochester, NY where a double homicide has taken place.  Megan Paige, an over zealous police officer, takes on this case and becomes very personally involved in it.  She develops schizophrenia and starts hallucinating about the victims becoming more and more obsessed with the case.  This puts stress on her fiancee, Kenneth, and eventually leads to a violent breakdown.  After going into treatment for two years, she returns to the force, cleared for desk duty.  When a call comes in of another murder and she dives back into the case vowing to solve it, with or without the help of the police.

The acting in this film is pretty suspect.  Eliza Dushku plays, from Dollhouse, doesn’t really fit in this role.  She just seems very stiff in her role and comes across as kind of annoying.  And she dominates the film.  Cary Elwes plays Kenneth, Paige’s fiancee, and he just isn’t all that interesting in this role.  His role seems to be very secondary and they really don’t develop him.  Timothy Hutton, probably the biggest name in this film, and his role is solid, but not all that impressive.  The talent just doesn’t come together for their roles, mainly thanks to the poorly crafted story.

Visually this film is average, when set in reality, it actually comes across as a pretty tough true crime sort of film, but when it jumps into the horror aspect, it becomes very cliche in how it looks.  Rob Schmidt, director of Wrong Turn, simply isn’t good enough to blend the two aspects.  His previous forays have always been into horror, and this film would have worked better if he had stuck to a single genre instead of jumping between the two.  Much of that problem, though, can be placed on Tom Malloy, the screenwriter.  His story is just a really poor retelling and unfocused retelling of something that has actual events to be based on, it is hard to know how he ended up with it going so poorly.

This is a film that I would recommend skipping.  There is nothing that really draws you into watching this film that is worth while.  I don’t mind true crime films (even though you look at my review of Zodiac it might not seem like it), but they need to be much better focused then they currently are.  I’d definitely recommend Zodiac over this film.

Entertainment Grade: F

Critical Grade: D-

Overall Grade: F

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