serial killer

Book Review: Desert Places by Blake Crouch

Budding crime novelist Andrew Thomas lives an idealistic life. Spending his days working on his next big idea, until he receives a ridiculous letter explaining that there is a woman buried on his property, covered in his blood.  Knowing that this certainly cannot be the case, as he is a proper law abiding citizen, he shakes off the note as a prank. However, curiosity is what killed the cat  - but not the woman he finds buried on his property.

There are a lot of low-budget horror movies that are light on plot and character development, but few take it to such extremes as 2011’s “Orphan Killer.” This movie doesn’t let silly little things like story get in its way. There’s just a masked killer, some dark corridors, and a hot chick on the run. More than anything, it’s a throwback to early eighties slasher movies with a little “Saw” thrown in for good measure.

Chained

Jennifer Lynch’s first few attempts at filmmaking fell short (anyone remember “Boxing Helena?”), but she puts together a solid little thriller with 2012’s “Chained.” Combining a decent (if somewhat cliché) story and some very good performances, “Chained” is well worth a watch, even if it does take a hard right turn into crazy-town in the last few minutes.

Stoker

"Stoker" shows family can be a real pain, as Mark and Jon discuss.

"The Snowtown Murders" is a movie about one of Australia's most notorious serial killers, John Bunting, and how he came to seduce a group of people into helping him torture, kill, and dispose of anyone he saw fit. The story is told through the eyes of a young man, Jamie, who almost never talks, and basically just reacts to the things that Bunting does. He essentially only ever serves as a proxy for the audience. Jaime is befriended by Bunting after the neighborhood finds out that his next-door neighbor molested Jamie and his brothers.

The Raven

If a 19th-century serial killer/detective story based on the genre writing of Edgar Allen Poe feels like a weird match for a director whose previous credits include "Ninja Assassin" and work on virtually every Wachowski Brothers film, then director James McTeigue would probably suggest you take a pass on "The Raven." Likely imagined as a mix between Depp's "From Hell" and the Downey Jr "Sherlock Holmes" films, McTeigue's John Cusak vehicle manages to impersonate neither of those films well enough to pass muster.

The Serial Killer film exists in that ineffable space between and within multiple genres. There are definitive strands reaching back to noir, slashers, and some city symphony films. There have also been so many serial killer films as to perhaps make their own genre altogether apart from horror or suspense thrillers. As of late television seems to be the new home for these narratives, strung out in season long arcs or crammed into the exploitation story-of-the-week on the latest versions of CSI or Law & Order.

Jennifer Carpenter and John Cusack star in this serial killer thriller about a detective who discovers his daughter has been kidnapped by a madman who targets prostitutes. I've been following this one for some time now since I found out the backdrop of the movie is my hometown of Buffalo, NY (although it was actually filmed in Canada). No word yet as to when Dark Castle will release this one in theaters, but its date has already been pushed back a number of times so we may be waiting a while for this one.

Anyone who has spent time browsing the annals of serial killerdom knows that female serial killers are a rare breed compared to their male counterparts. That said there are some pretty nasty death maidens throughout history like, “The Vampire of Barcelona”, Amelia Dyer “The Baby Farmer”, and “La Mataviejitas”. The uncontested rock star of the category is Aileen Wournos. While the term rock star may seem a tad cheeky, you are a better person than me if you can put Aileen’s eerie resemblance to a certain Motor city Madman out of your mind while watching her interviews.