Friday, November 21, 2014

The Riverman (2004)

Director: Bill Eagles

Writers: Tom Towler, Robert D. Keppel, William J. Birnes

Composer: Jeff Rona

Starring: Bruce Greenwood, Cary Elwes, Sam Jaeger, sarah Manninen, Kathleen Quinlan, David Brown, Jeremy Akerman, Cindy Sampson, Richard Blackburn, Mark Graham, John Dunsworth, Sherry Smith, Lee J. Campbell, Leah Ostry

More info: IMDb

Tagline: To catch a killer. You must understand evil. Or be evil.

Plot: A series of interviews are conducted with convicted serial killer Ted Bundy in hopes of gaining insight into the Green River Killer who is terrorizing Seattle.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

This is not your typical serial killer movie.  There's more talking, discussion and conversation going on than what you're used to and that's refreshing.  The script is very good but it's the performances and direction that keep it from becoming just another serial killer movie. Greenwood and Elwes are top notch.  There's no boogeyman in Elwes' Bundy.  He's a charismatic, regular guy.  Yeah, he's got some serious fucking issues but he's not presented as a monster.  I think it's more frightening that someone like this could be anyone you or I know without being aware of the horrors they create. Greenwood keeps his Keppel in check by holding back and being as calm as he can be.  He's calculating and intelligent without being emotional and telegraphing his thoughts to the obvious.  He keeps what he's thinking in check but he's still able to give such a nuanced performance that you know what's going on inside his head.  I don't know how much liberty the film makers took with this picture regarding the facts but they've made an excellent film that needs to be added to your list if you're interested in this sort of thing.  John Dunsworth (Lahey from the TRAILER PARK BOYS show and movies) is in this but I wasn't looking for him and didn't know he was in it until after I saw the film.  This guy is popping up in a lot of movies I've been watching lately.  One neat tidbit is that this true story partly served as inspiration for Thomas Harris' novel and later film, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991).

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