Thursday, 24 April 2014

ABC of Murder - Review - The Alphabet Killer DVD (Spoiler Free)

I love being out of the loop, I love finding a book or a movie that I really like that I know nothing about. No puff, no hype, no spin; just pure unexpected entertainment.

Just for those reasons, I haven't nor will I ever read 50 Shades or see the movie, for those same reasons I didn't enjoy Silence of the Lambs, well Sir Anthony was awesome but for me Jodie Foster was just an awful Starling - played far more believably by Julianne Moore.

Anyhoo I am digressing!

I answered a PR request for book reviews but it turned out all were too young for my son so instead I was sent a few DVDs and all of which I knew nothing.

Last night I was in a mood for a good thriller and so I chose

"The Alphabet Killer"

A movie I have no preconceived ideas about, had never read a press release or watched a trailer for.

Immediately I was thrilled as the leading lady turned out to be one of my favourite all time (and very underrated) actresses - Eliza Dushku. You may now her as Faith from Buffy/Angel, Dollhouse, Bring it on, Wrong Turn and the sadly cancelled Tru Calling (of which I am still reeling over never knowing what happened!!)

The cast is strong with roles from Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People, Secret Window) Cary Elwes (Liar Liar, Saw, X-Files) and even a small part filled by the incredible Michael Ironside (Highlander 2, ER)

Based on the true Alphabet Murders in 1977-79 (Also known as the double initial murders) this film has a strong plot but with a very important sub-theme. Mental Illness.

Without giving too much away and I promise to keep this spoiler free, it follows the story of Dushku as Megan Paige a Homocide detective working on the triple abductions and subsequent murders of three little girls, whilst coping with an obsessional involvement.

Paige suffers a schizophrenic adult break and has to try and overcome the prejudice of her co-workers within the police department.
Fighting to stay in the job and hold it together, Eliza plays the role to perfection and creates a tense, thrill seeking atmosphere forcing the watcher to scream at the film, just to get people to LISTEN to her and not just hear.

Direction is suspense a minute, with eerie shots from peculiar angles, creating the impression she is being watched and you are never sure if she is or not! Excellent work from Director, Rob Schmidt.

Mental health is a very difficult subject to carry off well especially within a completely different story line but the film dealt with it in a very realistic and sympathetic way, following daily struggle and the fight to be believed. I would love to know if Eliza researched, and how.

I looked up the film today after watching it and I was so shocked to see it was made in 2008! I love a good horror/thriller/drama so just have no idea how I missed it!

I have read some online reviews and have to say I disagree with most of them.

It was a really good watch and I did not find it predictable in fact I guessed the killer at about 85% through which is very late for me!
I also like the fact that the viewer watches Megan's struggle from the outside, not trying to confuse the viewer with what is or what is not reality. It shows a true understanding of a desperate woman trying to stay herself and coping with the stress of a demanding and unsympathetic job.

8/10 Lemons

and I'd like a sequel PLEASE!