innocent_man: (beast)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Copycat is a 90s horror flick. Actually, it's a pretty blatant Silence of the Lambs knockoff, right down to the "contact the serial killer in prison for help with the serial killer out here" scene. Sigourney Weaver plays Helen Hudson, an expert in serial killers who has a run in with Daryl Lee Cullum (played with gleeful creepiness by Harry Connick, Jr.) and succumbs to agoraphobia. Holly Hunter plays MJ Monahan, a police inspector who leans just a little too close to "plucky" for my taste. THEY FIGHT CRIME!

Ahem. There's a serial killer out there aping famous killers of the past, setting up his crime scenes to mimic folks like Albert deSalvo and Son of Sam. And then it gets all personal, and he starts going after Helen specifically, wanting to mimic the crime scene that got Daryl Lee Cullum captured.

There are things I like about this movie. I think the cast as a whole makes their characters real and believable. I joke about Monohan being plucky, but really she switches her social tactics around when she needs to. She's unabashedly a fan of junk food, she used to bang a co-worker and wants nothing more to do with him, which causes some tension with her hot partner (Dermott Mulroney). Weaver puts enough fastidiousness into her character before the incident that we can see the seeds of her phobia, and afterwards she does a great job of portraying a woman who is trapped by her own circumstances and psychological issues. The supporting cast, Connick included, is likewise good. The story, too, is creepy and fun, if a little far-fetched. And it very much ties into the horror of the times - brilliant serial killers aren't so much in vogue now (Dexter notwithstanding), but they were very in once.

And then there are things I don't like. I don't like that we never learn the names of the five women the killer murders in his copycat spree (we only know the names of his other victims because they were named cast members). There is no discussion of these victims, and even when one of them is lying on a table with a bag over her head, being tortured, it's hard to feel much because it's so obvious she's a prop for the story. Dermott Mulroney's character dies in an unrelated issue, but the only twist is how he dies, since it's pretty obvious from the beginning of the movie that the final showdown is going to be killer vs. Hunter/Weaver. Likewise, the flirtation between Weaver and Mulroney and the tension it causes with Hunter never really goes anywhere, again, because we know Mulroney's character is toast.

Oh, and Hunter fires her gun sideways at a range early in the movie. ARRRRGH.

There are some believeability issues, too. F'rex, setting up the deSalvo and even the Hillside murders, OK. But Son of Sam? He managed to find a woman who looked that much like a Berkowitz victim, at a gas station with a pay phone nearby, in an area secluded enough to shoot her, all on exactly the right night? And then here's the biggest one: The Hillside murder involved the victim being sexually assaulted and the police finding two kinds of sperm. The logical deduction here is that the killer has access to multiple samples of sperm which, I'm sure, would shed some light on finding him. At that point, how about you start running checks on employees at local sperm banks? Why did no one think of this? (I admit, I only figured that out on this most recent viewing.)

Anyway, it's watchable, but it's very much a product of the time.

My grade: C+
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Coraline



Spaghetti: 8
Apple: 1
Orange: 1
Bread: 2
Cheese: 2
Butter: 1
Oil: 1
Pita: 2
Hummus: 1
Ice cream: 7

Total: 26
Banked: 5


My grade:

Date: 2012-01-17 09:34 pm (UTC)
electricpaladin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] electricpaladin
Oooh. Coraline. I'm looking forward to your review. I loved the shit out of Coraline.

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