To Catch a Killer (Movie Review)

Criminal MindsMindHunterNCIS, or films such as 1991’s The Silence of The Lambs all have two things in common. What is that? One, it is that there is a psychopath with a trauma-filled past who blames all of their problems on society. And two, there is also a troubled detective trying to hunt the psychopath down before anyone else gets hurt. Now, with a spike in the demand for true crime or mystery including any crime fact or fiction wise, it comes as no surprise that more crime-centered films are being released. In fact, another one named To Catch a Killer just hit theaters on April 21, 2023 and will follow with a VOD release on May 16th thanks to Vertical. 

To Catch a Killer / Vertical (2023)

Directed by Damián Szifron, To Catch a Killer follows Eleanor (Shailene Woodley: American Girl Adventure 2005, The Divergent Series), a young police investigator battling with her own troubled past, who is recruited by FBI Chief Investigator Geoffrey Lammark (Ben Mendelsohn: The Dark Knight Rises 2012, Rogue One; A Star Wars story 2016) to help track and profile a killer. With a past like Eleanor’s, she might be the only one who can understand the mindset of the killer; and this making her the only one who can potentially bring them to justice.

Well-executed, the character interaction and communication are only one of the many qualities that was represented in To Catch a Killer. In fact, the relationship established between the FBI and Eleanor almost has a father-daughter vibe. This in mind, the audience should quickly pick up on this particular relationship during the dinner scene; which also shows a softer, more approachable side to Lamarck.

To Catch a Killer / Vertical (2023)

Which leads us to the main character being hunted down; Dean Possey (Ralph Ineson: The Witch 2015, The Green Knight 2021). Portrayed in an intriguing murderous fashion by Ineson, however, it is really Woodley and Mendelsohn who steal the show with their ability to work together, plus maintain a presence that keeps you engaged. But to give credit where it is due, Ineson’s portrayal of a tortured, complicated and very dangerous man keeps you on the edge of your seat in curiosity.  

As always, in any film, the lighting and music score can make or break it. Working quite well in To Catch a Killer, the use of darker tones in certain scenes keep the overall mood, while the melancholy feeling of the music creates a tension. Two bold points, there are also certain aspects within the film that knock off brownie points. One of these more negative attributes is the untimely, unexpected deaths. Granted it is normal to kill off some of the main characters in any movie, in this respect, perhaps To Catch a Killer could have been executed better. Furthermore, the ending is a bit too quick and spontaneous.

To Catch a Killer / Vertical (2023)

Overall, the story of To Catch a Killer is compelling enough, even while the writing is not too intricate. A film that will keep you guessing, Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

To Catch a Killer / Vertical (2023)

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